2026 World Cup Qualifiers: We’re not responsible for South Africa’s delayed arrival — NFF

The Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, has denied being responsible for South Africa’s delegation’s delayed arrival in Uyo for the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier against the Super Eagles.

The South African delegation spent the night in Port Harcourt on Wednesday, June 5 after arriving in Nigeria.

The players and their officials were initially scheduled to depart Johannesburg at 8 am on Wednesday and land in Lagos to undergo immigration formalities before proceeding to Uyo.

The chartered flight from Johannesburg was, however, delayed by five hours, affecting their travel plans.

The South African contingent only arrived in Uyo on Thursday morning.

“The problem has nothing to do with the NFF. At the time they said they were taking off, it took them a further five hours to actually depart from South Africa. We were not informed. We had informed officials of the Nigeria Immigration Service and other relevant agencies in Lagos to expedite action on the formalities for them,” stated NFF’s protocol chief, Emmanuel Ayanbunmi.

“It was less than two hours to landing that they contacted us to say that the landing right they got was for Port Harcourt International Airport and not the MMA in Lagos.

“We had to quickly get in touch with officials of NMS and other agencies in Port Harcourt and mobilise people to ensure smooth formalities for them.”

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