July, 29 2023.
By: Sunday Agunbiade Mr VAR
It's a known fact that Football and Fans all over the world, particularly in Nigeria are like seismic twins. But, the situation at the ongoing FIFA Women’s World Cup co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand cooks a sour taste.
The members and executives of Football Fans Club of Nigeria, FFCN who had spent so much in buying match tickets,Visa fees and met all requirements but being denied visas will not stop calling well meaning Nigerians to come to their aid.
This is the cry of 2018 CAF Award winning Fans Club at the Press Conference held in Lagos wherein they appealed to critical stakeholders to help them secure Visas or have their money refunded.
Addressing the journalist, the First African Woman to vanguard a Supporters Club in Africa said:
"We have been pushed to the wall by the authourity of Australian Embassy on the efforts to secure Visas to the ongoing FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand and we are passionately appealing to the federal government , Ministry of Sports and Foreign Affairs to come to our aid to refund our money or grant us visas."
Mama Nigeria as Ogunfuwa is fondly called reiterated efforts made and said that: "We did Biometrics and paid for Visa fees, we bought tickets and the embassy is yet to grant us visas. We have spent so much money please. This is the first time we would be experiencing this as we use to move to other part of the world in major competitions like this seamlessly but this Australia is demoralising".
Chairman, Niger State Chapter, Sulaiman Isah lamented that they have been disappointed with the high handedness of Australian Embassy in this visa .Saga . "What we went through in the last few months is awful.I think the Australian Embassy Authority should be investigated and called to order. It's demoralising to say the least as this has never happened to us having been to different parts of the world ".
Corroborating this is Jadesola Adelabu calling stakeholders to rally round Supporters Clubs to get things done for their members. In her words: It's time the stakeholders came to the aid of the Supporters Clubs to get things right and save them from the present financial situation. They should ensure they avoid future occurrence please.".
The President of the leading Supporters club therefore suggested that the Australian Embassy should refund their money if they are not going to grant visas to their members.
"This is a clarion call to well meaning Nigerians to please assist us in this matter .We want to unequivocally appeal that if they are not going to give us Visas, they should refund our money. If the tickets are not going to be used, they should please refund us. We have no sponsors for this trip as all of us used our personal money. Lagos based Business tycoon pleaded