The Super Eagles and the Nigerian delegation to the World Cup qualifier match in Addis Ababa returned to Nigeria at about 4:30am today with tales of ill-treatment by Ethiopian fans in their 2-1 win over the Ethiopian national team on Sunday.
It would be recalled that upon arrival, the Eagles were given a bus infested with cockroaches but the team took it in its stride. Similarly, when it was time for training, the police team attached to the team deliberately took routes that were traffic-jammed, yet the team refused to be intimidated.
Matters came to a head on match day, when soft drink bottles were hauled at Nigerian players and supporters, when the Ethiopians thought that they had scored an opener in the first half. Television replays later showed that Godfrey Oboabona had cleared the ball off the line.
And then, following the match as the Nigerian team was returning to its Saro Maria hotel, some fans laid ambush and started hauling stones at the bus. One of the heavy stones shattered the rear windscreen of the bus, sending all inside the bus scampering for safety. In the commotion, Real Betis star, Nosa Igiebor, had his right palm slashed by broken glass, leading to profuse bleeding that was immediately attended to by team doctor, Ibrahim Gyaran.
NFF Vice President, Chief Mike Umeh, said the matter has been reported to the FIFA Security team at the match venue and he hopes action will be taken. The Ethiopian Police was also intimated with the ordeal of the Nigerian delegation by Eagles CSO, ACP Baba Abubakar.
Despite the hostility, the NFF has promised that it will give the Ethiopians the best of hospitality when they come to Nigeria in November for the return leg.