Congo are expected to fly into Nigeria on Friday after they kept the NFF in the dark over their travel plans for most of the week reports www.africanfootball.com.
Nigeria had had to complain to CAF about the hide-and-seek game of the Congolese after they could not get any information from them as regards their arrival and other logistical details ahead of Saturday’s AFCON qualifier in Calabar.
On Tuesday, NFF head of international department Bola Oyeyode had brought CAF up to speed with the strange silence of the Congolese, after which the Congolese Federation forwarded a terse message about its ‘advance party’ arriving in Nigeria on Wednesday and in need of visa on arrival.
“We are surprised at the attitude of the Congolese FA. They have kept silence all along, refusing to give us details of their travel plans, only for them to be requesting visa-on-arrival for their advance party,” Oyeyode revealed.
Congo, who won the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon 42 years ago, were restored to the campaign after losing on penalty shoot –out to Rwanda following CAF’s disqualification of Rwanda for using an ineligible player.
Saturday’s showdown at the U. J. Esuene Stadium is the first of six matches for each of the teams in seven groups of four teams in the qualifying series for the finals scheduled for Morocco early next year.
The match kicks off at 5pm Nigerian time.
Clashes between Nigeria and Congo at international level are few and far between, but the Red Devils famously held the Eagles to a 0-0 draw in Lagos in a group phase match at the 2000 Africa Cup of Nations, and last year, Nigeria mauled Congo 7-0 at the African U17 Championship in Morocco.
Congo were reinstated to the competition after Rwanda were disqualified for fielding an ineligible player.
Meanwhile, DR Congo’s Greece-based defender Bernard Itoua Onanga, according to www.africanfootball.com, arrived late in Pointe-Noire and he is now stuck with administrative formalities like entry visa to Nigeria.He therefore he remains a major doubtful for Saturday.