The Embassy of Austria in Nigeria has denied key staff of the Super Eagles backroom staff entry visas into their country for the team’s final phase camping programme, according to the Nigeria Football Federation.
The Super Eagles are scheduled to fly to Austria on Sunday, a day after their friendly in London with England.
“Several months ago, the Nigeria Football Federation concluded arrangements with the world –renowned Avita Resort in Bad Tatzmannsdorf, for the Eagles to put finishing touches to their World Cup program there. They are billed to be there before flying to Yessentuki, the team base camp at the World Cup, on 11th June,” the NFF explained in a press release on Thursday.
Team Administrator Dayo Enebi Achor confirmed to thenff.com that the lead physiotherapist Nnaemeka Anozie and Equipment Manager, Chidi Ngoka, were denied visas by the Austrian Embassy in Abuja.
“We are stunned by the action of the Austrian Embassy. How will the team cope without the physiotherapist and the equipment manager? Everyone is disappointed with this,” Achor said on Thursday.
The NFF noted that Anozie and Ngoka have been with the team for several years, including through the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying series, and are integral parts of the Super Eagles’ family.
It was learnt that team leaders were so furious they briefly contemplated cancelling the camping in Austria and relocating the team to another country altogether.
Another team official fumed: “This is a big shock. Someone like Chidi Ngoka has been with the team for several years and even attended the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cup tournaments. Anozie has been with the Eagles for many years as well, and earlier worked with the U17 National Team. Both of them have been to several countries in different continents. We don’t know the reason for this action by the Austrian Embassy.”