Harambee Stars Were Economical With Their Itinerary – NFF
Olajire was reacting to the complaints made by the Harambee Stars against the NFF ahead of the 2014 World Cup Qualifiers saying Kenya is only out to dent Nigeria’s image.
The NFF official said the federation kept in touch with the Kenya Federation via email for over a week just to get the travel details of the team but there was no response, NFF was forced to start relating through the high commission of Kenya in Nigeria.
“For more than one week, we sent several mails to the Football Kenya Federation but they refused to respond to any. The NFF was forced to be relating with them through the Kenyan High Commission in Nigeria.
According to the Harambee Stars, there was no reception for the Kenya team when they arrived at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.
According to another NFF official, Bola Oyebode, Harambee Stars never had the intention to disclose its travel plans to the NFF as they were playing hide and seek about their travel arrangements.
“Our protocol officials were at the Lagos airport to receive them, and took them to the Silver Grandeur Hotel, which is not a substandard hotel as being claimed,” Olajire explained.
He said ever since the arrival of the Harambee Stars to Nigeria, there’s been complaints upon complaints and attitude being put up towards the NFF despite the fact that they have been treated like royalties since their arrival.
“Strangely, they arrived with attitude and they have carried on that way. On Thursday, we flew them to Calabar and they were received like royalty, with a performance by a cultural troupe thrown in. Yet, they carried on with complaints about almost everything, including questioning why the NFF took the match to Calabar.
“We played Namibia in Calabar in an earlier match of the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification series, and also played against Rwanda and Liberia there. None of these teams had anything to complain about.”
According to information that reached us all those communications to the Harambee Stars by the NFF had the World Football Governing Body copied in it and the Kenyan Embassy too as witnesses that the Kenya FA had been turning down communication.
And it was not until the afternoon of Monday that the Kenya FA wrote to the NFF to inform them of their arrival for Wednesday afternoon with limited information as there were no details of the names of the people coming while they stated that a 25-man delegation will coming in.
“They told us they were coming with a 25-man delegation, but didn’t give us any names, so we could not book the connecting flight to Calabar early, according Oyebode.
“When it was getting late, we used our relationship with the airline to book 25 seats with no names, only for them to arrive with a 35-man party.
“In their letter, they never said they wanted to train in Lagos. The arrangement was for them to come in and fly straight to Calabar. But their flight arrived at noon, and the flight to Calabar is usually at 11am.
“At no time did we discuss anything about a chartered aircraft. Even our own team, who are African champions, flew to Calabar on a regular commercial flight.”
Regarding the training ground, Oyeyode said the Kenyans picked the substandard ground on the advice of one of their ‘consultants’.
“We went out of our way to book the training pitch of the National Stadium in Surulere for them at very, very short notice.
“But they refused to go there, after they were advised by one their men on the ground here, and they chose that primary school to train.”