Thursday, September 29, 2011

Italian Embassy deny Nigerian athletes visas because they suspect them being members of Boko Haram

Coach of the Nigeria Beach Eagles, Adamu Aoudu, has accused the Italian Embassy in Nigeria of refusing to issue visa to some Nigerian players allegedly based on their names, religion and the suspicion that they belong to the dreaded Islamic militant sect, Boko Haram.

The players had wanted to join the Nigerian team that participated in the recently held FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Italy.

Speaking in an interview with The Moment in Abuja, Adamu maintained that the information he gathered after returning from the World Cup was that the Italian Embassy did not issue visa to the players because of their religion.

The three players who were refused visa for the Beach World Cup were Abu Azeez and Shehu Jamal from Wikki Tourists and Emma Zavi from Adamawa United.

'When I came back from the World Cup, I heard that the embassy refused to give the players visa because of their names and religion.

It is not fair because they denied me the use of some of my best players who would have made a very big difference in the team if they had been around', said Adamu.

The coach exonerated the Nigeria Football Federation from the visa hitches, declaring that it was a premeditated action from the Italian Embassy.

'There were insinuations that it was the football house that did not press hard for the players to be given visas, but it was when I returned from the World Cup that news filtered to me that they were stopped from the tournament because of their names and religion,' he said.

Nevertheless, Adamu praised the determination of his players during the World Cup, saying that they displayed the spirit of true Nigerians.

'Those boys were wonderful players. It was very hectic but they never allowed the situation to overwhelm them as they gave their best', he said.

The Moment

Related stories: 

Video - Four Boko Haram members to face death penalty for UN attack

Boko Haram suicide bomber attacks police headquarters

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