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AFCON qualifiers: Travelling by sea to Cotonou is scary – Super Eagles players

Some Super Eagles players are not comfortable with the decision of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) for the team to travel by sea to Benin Republic for this month’s 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against the Squirrels.

It will be recalled that it was announced the Eagles would travel to Cotonou across the Gulf of Guinea for the game, scheduled for Stade de l’Amite on March 27 due to the bad road from Lagos to neighbouring Benin Republic.

Eagles coach Gernot Rohr explained that the poor road network was the major reason for the decision to travel by sea.

“Because the road is not good between Lagos and Cotonou, we will have to travel for the match on a boat because of the crossing only last two hours, instead of many hours on the poor roads.”

One of the Eagles stars, who is based in Turkey, said the arrangement was weird but hoped it was safe to sail to Cotonou by sea according to Punch

“I don’t know why they (Nigeria Football Federation) have chosen to go by sea to Cotonou for this game,” the player, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.

“I hope they have put into consideration the risk and safety involved travelling by sea.”

Another player plying his trade in the Spanish Segunda division also expressed fears about the trip.

“This move to go by sea to Cotonou is scary,” the player said.

“We have to be careful. I would have preferred the trip by road, if we leave Lagos early enough.”

A team official, who also spoke on the matter, said the decision was not cast in stone yet.

“I’m not at liberty to speak on this matter but for me I think these are options for the team to travel to Cotonou for the game. For our last game away in Sierra Leone, we travelled by sea to the match venue after we landed in Freetown. We were on water for 45 minutes and though some players were jittery all through the journey, it was safe. “I believe the best option for the trip will be taken by the NFF.”

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