Players face quiet post-World Cup stay in Russia as Ndidi, Moses, Mikel leave camp while officials are stranded
Alone, tired and dejected, the Super Eagles have quickly moved on after their exit from the World Cup.
This morning was just a few hours after Super Eagles1-2 loss to Argentina which meant that they crash out of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
With the Super Eagles out of the World Cup, the attention of FIFA, the media and even fans have turned elsewhere.
Alone, tired and dejected, the Super Eagles set out to quickly move on after their exit from the World Cup.
Players jet out straight to vacation
While some players boarded the team bus back to their World up base in Essentuki, some others are on their way out of Russia to their respective vacation locations with their aides, friends and family members.
Tobi Adepojuof reported that Wilfred Ndidi left the Super Eagles hotel in Saint Petersburg early Wednesday morning with his girlfriend Chidinma.
From his post on Instagram stories, Odion Ighalo is already in London with his family while the likes of Victor Moses, Leon Balogun, Alex Iwobi, Tyronne Ebuehi and William Troost-Ekong have also left Russia.
One other Super Eagles player confided to that he is on his way to Jerusalem where he will be vacationing after a long season of football.
Captain Mikel John Obi and Bryan Idowu also did not travel with the team to the camp base in Essentuki.
The Super Eagles contingent with the remaining players will depart from Essentuki to Abuja on Friday, June 29. Super Eagles media officer Toyin Ibitoye confirmed to that the contingent will arrive in Abuja on Friday.
Officials stranded in Saint Petersburg
The sudden change in coverage and pampering in treatment since Super Eagles exit have been a rude awakening for the players and Nigerian football officials who remained in Russia.
The autograph-seeking fans are nowhere to be found, the gun-touting men in uniform who guarded the Super Eagles before have been withdrawn as the interest from FIFA, local organising committee and even fans have been shifted to other teams and players still in the World Cup.
“The transformation in treatment by the public here, from hero to near zero, is a shock and could be traumatic for the younger players,” Super Eagles legend Segun Odegbami said.
But others note that it has been the fault of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) who did not make arrangement for a quick exit from Russia after the last group game.
“It is the fault of the NFF,” a top source in Russia told Pulse Sports.
“Look at Germany, they left the next morning after their last group game, they didn’t waste any time.”
It has been even worse for some Nigerian football ‘stakeholders’ who were left stranded without a hotel after Super Eagles last game.
Some of these stakeholders were ejected from the Park Inn Hotel in Saint Petersburg, just a day after the game against Argentina.
“Losing has many enemies. we were asked to leave the hotel we stayed yesterday. the Nff took us to another hotel and asked use to wait .we waited in the lobby for 7 hours no food no water no rooms . God punish poverty.me I took my money and paid for my room at Hilton,” former Nigerian goalkeeper Idah Peterside wrote on his Twitter.
In a move that is obviously politically motivated, NFF bossAmaju Pinnick gave out his personal credit card to the Secretary-General of the NFF, Mohammed Sanusi to settle the hotel bills of some angry members of the federation.
According to the Guardian Nigeria, Pinnick who is eyeing reelection as boss of the NFF doled out N11m ($30,000) for the hotel bills.