Sunday, June 16, 2013

Super Eagles arrive Brazil barely 24-hours to their opening game against Tahiti


Barely 24-hours before their opening Group B game against Tahiti in Belo Horizonte at the 2013 FIFA Confederation Cup, Nigeria’s National team, the Super Eagles arrived Brazil in the early hours of Sunday, having missed their initial scheduled flights due to a dispute over bonus payments.

The dispute over match bonus "grounded" the team in Windhoek after playing a 1-1 draw with hosts, Namibia, in an African qualifier for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, also to be hosted by Brazil. The Super Eagles were scheduled to leave South Africa for Johannesburg to take another flight to Sao Paulo by 5.55pm. however, parts of the team were unable to board to flight which was secured with the help of FIFA, the first batch of Super Eagles missed the flight and are now dangerously behind schedule.

According to the organizers of the Confed Cup, only 17,210 tickets for the match had been bought as at Friday night while the venue of the match can hold 62,547 spectators.
An additional 36,134 tickets are still available for the Nigeria match but local football followers appeared skeptical, fearing either a 'no-show' or a below par performance, considering the rating of Tahiti and the apparent apathy the Nigerian side is putting up.
 Even, 2,308 of the tickets sold for the Monday game were yet to be collected.

Meanwhile, the Super Eagles will lodge at the Caesars Park Inn in the sixth Brazilian most populous city of Belo Horizonte. Their late arrival may have a major effect on their performance as they may not have enough time to practice or even become accustomed to their new environment. On the other hand, Tahiti were first to arrive Brazil on June 7 and have been going through rigorous training session before their Nigerian encounter with Nigeria.