Nigeria fans ‘stranded’ ahead of Iceland game
As if Nigeria’s defeat at the hands of Croatia in their World Cup opener wasn’t bad enough, now, it appears as if a handful of Super Eagles fans were stranded in the wake of the defeat in Kaliningrad. In total, 100 fans of Nigeria were said to be stranded after initially planning to take the train from the city to Moscow on Saturday night. However, as they’d be passing through countries such as Latvia and Lithuania, they didn’t have the required visas in what has been described as one big ‘gaffe’.
Gernot Rohr’s men fell to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of the Europeans at the weekend, in a result which, in truth, a lot of people saw coming. While Nigeria have a decent squad on paper they haven’t quite been able to translate that into success on the pitch for quite some time, with their pre-WC warm-ups suggesting that the worst was yet to come. While they weren’t completely blown out of the water by Croatia they’ll still see it as an exceptionally difficult result to swallow, and you have to wonder how that’ll impact their confidence as they gear up for the second round of fixtures in just a few days time. In terms of the aforementioned fans, it turns out that Russian officials eventually took control of the situation by helping to arrange flights as opposed to trains – but neither party was too pleased about that.
Apparently, multiple warnings were given to these supporters regarding what they needed to do in order to qualify for a place on the train, but thankfully a PR disaster was avoided as representatives ensured that these fans wouldn’t run the risk of missing their next group stage game. Of course, in these situations, everything often seems to go wrong – and it did once again when the prices for the flights were revealed. One fan was quoted 28,000 Rubles which translates to roughly $442, and he decided not to pay that price. Somehow he managed to find something for 6,000 rubles aka $95, however, he couldn’t leave Kaliningrad before Monday evening which was much later than he was initially planning. The organisation of the whole situation was heavily criticised, but despite there being so many obstacles that have come up for the Nigerians as of late, it seems as if they’re taking it all in their stride. Many will look back in a few years and see this as being part of the experience, whereas others will hopefully see it as nothing more than a speed bump en-route to Nigeria’s remaining group stage encounters.