21st March, 2013
Kenya lashed out at African champions Nigeria on Thursday after they were forced to prepare for their weekend World Cup qualifier on a primary school pitch.
Television footage and newspapers showed the Kenyan squad training on the school pitch after their arrival in Lagos, en route to Calabar, the venue for Saturday’s tie.
Kenyan sports commissioner Gordon Oluoch, in a protest note to the Nigerian sports minister, said the treatment was unacceptable and demanded the team be flown to Calabar immediately to prepare for the crunch game.
“As per your earlier correspondence and commitment, our national team was to be flown to Calabar on arrival in Lagos on Wednesday afternoon. But this was not done,” said Oluoch.
“It is sad that the Nigerians should be doing this to us and yet they expect us to treat them well during the return match in Nairobi in June. This matter is reciprocal.”
But the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) have blamed the Kenyan entourage for making poor travel arrangements and seeking assistance of a local agent to book the training venue.
Following the intervention of the Nigerian sports ministry and the Kenyan embassy staff in Lagos, the Harambee Stars managed to get a connecting flight to Calabar on Thursday.