#YourSportsMemo can confirm that the Super Eagles of Nigeria have arrived in Freetown, Sierra Leone, ahead of their crucial AFCON2022Q against the Leone Stars on Tuesday.
The Super Eagles landed lunchtime Monday with coach Gernot Rohr, his backroom staff, and 22 players on board from Benin City, venue of the first leg thriller against Tuesday’s hosts last week.
According to a communique from the NFF, the team was welcomed by Nigeria High Commission Charge d’Affaires, Sona Charles, the Consular, Mr Paul Alabi in company of members of the Sierra Leone football Association.
Meanwhile, the communique added “there was a hiccup at the airport” after Super Eagles players and officials were forced to undergo COVID-19 tests right at the airport be the Sierra Leonean immigration officials despite evidence provided to show the tests done by the team returned negative just hours before boarding their flight in Benin City.
Efforts by the top officials from the Nigeria High Commission and the Leader of Delegation, Alhaji Ibrahim Musa Gusau to make the Sierra Leonean immigration officials understand that the results obtained few hours earlier were sufficient for the delegation members to enter into Freetown, prosecute the match and return to Nigeria, failed to sway the officials. Further pleas to allow the players and officials leave the airport and for Sierra Leone to send medical officials to conduct the tests at the team hotel fell on deaf ears.
The Super Eagles were expected to have their official training at the Siaka Stevens Stadium (venue of Tuesday’s match) later Monday evening.
Tomorrow’s match, which will kick off at 4pm local time (5pm Nigeria time), will be officiated by Guinean officials Tawel Camara Younoussa as Referee for the match, with his compatriots Sidiki Sidibe (Assistant Referee 1), Abdoulaye Sylla (Assistant Referee 2) and Bangaly Konate (Fourth Official) also on duty. The match commissioner is Silvestre Cantussan from Guinea Bissau.