March 24, 2019

Stranded Nigerian football fans ordered home by President

Around 200 Nigerians became stranded in Russia following the World Cup as they did not have a return ticket home, authorities said. They had gone to support the national Super Eagles team, but some also planned to settle in Russia after the tournament. Buhari has ordered the Minister of Aviation and Foreign Ministry to bring the fans back home, the President's Senior Special Assistant, Garba Shehu said.Lagos State governor Akinwunmi Ambode was also forced to step in last week to cover the return expenses of around 50 of the fans. Some of them said they had paid agents large sums of money to obtain the Fan ID documents issued by the Russian authorities as a special traveling document during the World Cup. Two brothers Ismail and Sodiq Olamilekan said they paid N250,000 naira ($800) each to a man in Lagos for their Fan IDs. They said they planned to become professional footballers in Russia. Others paid over one million in the local currency, naira ($3,000) for the document, they said.Nigeria World Cup kit sells out in minutes as fakes flood Lagos markets "The man told us that with the Fan ID we could get a job and stay here," Ismail told AFP at a hostel on the outskirts of Moscow. "But when we got here we discovered that it was a fraud, that he had just collected the money and lied to us," he said. Rafiu Ladipo, of the Nigerian Supporters Club, told CNN: "Some of those who traveled for other reasons beyond the World Cup did so in ignorance and believing that Europe is all rosy and everything becomes available as soon as you touch down."

Pius Ayinor contributed to this story


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