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Spain denies Nigeria U-15 visa for UEFA U-16 tournament: “We had not the faintest hint” – NFF reacts

Spain denies Nigeria U-15 visa for UEFA U-16 tournament: “We had not the faintest hint” – NFF reacts

Nigeria U-15

The Nigeria Football Federation has responded to the case of the Spanish Embassy denying visas to the Nigeria U-15 team, also known as the Future Eagles, for participation in the UEFA U-16 tournament, as reported by Soccernet.ng.

Earlier, the Nigerian football body announced on its social media page that the Nigerian teenagers would not be participating in the tournament due to a visa denial.

This news has shocked the Nigerian football community, prompting questions as to why an embassy would deny a team leaving the country for a national assignment.

A screenshot of an email sent to a supposed Spanish embassy was circulating in the media, with the response indicating that the information shared by the NFF was not correct.

Further in the mail, it was indicated that the NFF withdrew their applications on Monday, April 8, just hours before the day they were scheduled to travel.

“Regarding your enquiries, the information posted on social media is not correct. Our Consulate General in Lagos has reviewed the case and wishes to inform that the applicants withdrew their applications at the Consulate on Monday, April 8. No one has denied those visas,” the mail reads.

Reacting to the mail, the Director of Communications of the Nigeria Football Federation, Ademola Olajire, revealed that the allegation is wrong in its entirety, stating that they were shocked to see their visas denied.

“Our protocol officers went to the embassy on Monday to collect the visas only to be handed the passports without any visa. So many emails sent to them went unattended to, even from UEFA. Suddenly, they are not too arrogant to reply to SM inquiries because they sense it has to do with image,” Olajire said on a WhatsApp group.

Olajire further challenged any documentation showing they denied the visas to be brought out, and further revealed that on that morning, he even announced the proposed trip of the Future Eagles.

“[The] letter conveying the applications. Let the embassy bring out a letter from NFF withdrawing the applications. If anyone can recall, it was on that same day (Monday, April 8) that I wrote about the players going to the tournament because we had not the faintest hint the visas would be denied. Their flight was to be early Tuesday morning. Why would I have gone ahead to do the story if I knew we had withdrawn the applications?” he added.

In February, Nigeria’s national football team canceled a friendly match against Argentina in the US because Nigerian players could not obtain visas in time.

Ayomide Oguntimehin

Ayomide Oguntimehin

Ayomide Oguntimehin is a CAF-accredited sports journalist and an Editor at Soccernet.ng, with a proven track record in conducting interviews with Super Eagles stars such as William Troost-Ekong, Taiwo Awoniyi, Bright Osayi-Samuel, Ademola Lookman, and many others. He has also made a significant impact in breaking transfer news stories.

Grounded in video editing, video journalism, social media management, and content strategy, Ayomide brings a wealth of expertise to his work.

With a Bachelor’s degree in English Language from Adeyemi College of Education and a Master’s Degree in School Library and Media Technology from the University of Ibadan, Ayomide is well-prepared to excel in the field.

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