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Young Mighty Warriors ill-treated in Nigeria


The national U-20 women football team have became the latest victim of ill-treatment that has been subjected to local teams whenever they travel in most African countries for national duty after the team was booked in a substandard accommodation facility here.

The Young Mighty Warriors play the Falconets in a Fifa U-20 Women World Cup, first round, first leg qualifier at the artificial MKO Abeokuta International Stadium Saturday, with the reverse fixture set for Harare in a fortnight.

Kick-off is 1600hrs local time.

However, it seems the hosts are employing all the dirty tricks in the book to try and frustrate their visitors ahead of the match.

The Young Mighty Warriors, who left Harare on Wednesday morning, arrived at the Mohammad Murtala International airport in Lagos at 1930hrs after a stop-over in South Africa but had to endure three hours to go through some choreographed immigration formalities.

A lady immigration officer who attended to the team took her time as she perused each and every page on all the delegates passports.

All that time, the visibly tired players were crammed in the arrivals lounge room whose temperatures averaged 37 degrees Celsius. It was a sorry sight as the young ladies laid helplessly on the floor.

Team doctor Dorothy Masawi and physiotherapist Abigail Munikwa kept the girls going by providing water and other fluids.

When the immigration formalities finally ended, the team was taken on a two hour drive to the hosting city where they arrived just after midnight.

Having gone through the airport horror more was still waiting at the brothel-like lodge they are booked at.

The facility is located next to a night club and a high-way road that leads to neighbouring Togo.
The players said they struggled to sleep owing to the blazing music and blaring noise from vehicles predominantly heavy trucks carrying oil.

As this is not enough, the flushing system and showers in the players rooms are malfunctioning and have resorted to using buckets.

The whole city of Abeokuta has no electricity since last week due to a fault and the hotel the team is staying in is operating on a generator, and power is erratic.

Women football boss Mavis Gumbo who is head of delegation here is disappointed.

I have travelled with this team in different countries but I have never seen anything like this. The toilets and the bedding linen is dirty. We were ill-treated in Mozambique but this is much worse. In Maputo were not given good food but the accommodation was good. Here everything is bad, really bad, said Gumbo.

The food is bad also and now we have to cook the food we carried from Zimbabwe. We anticipated such treatment and even Zifa president Cuthbert Dube warned us of this but we didnt know it can come to this. This is not good for women football, added Gumbo.

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