Nigerian National Team Faces Visa Issues Ahead of Olympics Preparations

Super Falcons – Nigeria’s women’s national football team encountered visa issues before arriving at their camp in Spain. The team is expected to participate in the Olympics 2024, which will be held in Paris, France.

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Although the majority of the team members have arrived at their camp, some athletes have yet to make it to the city, flying from the US and even Russia, Schengen.News reports.

According to PUNCH, two players; Uchenna Kanu and Chiwendu Ihezuo are yet to have their visas and afterwards plan to fly to the US and then fly to Spain by July 10th or July 11th.

Athletes Furious at Visa Procedures to Attend the International Tournament

Macleans Chinenye, the Super Falcon’s athlete expressed her discontent about the visa situation. She has to fly from Russia to Nigeria to pick up her visa and then fly to Spain before the weekend.

Why are we even in camp? I am so pissed right now because I don’t understand why all these weren’t taken care of weeks ago. 

Source from Super Falcon

The Super Falcon are nine-time African champion and it has represented the country at the Women’s Olympic football tournament, held in China in 2008.

Not The First Time That Nigerian Athletes Were Denied Schengen Visas

In April 2024, the Future Eagles were rejected visas from Spain, causing for the team to miss the UEFA U16 Development Tournament.

Players and officials of the Nigeria U15 team, Future Eagles, have been denied visas by the Spanish Embassy and will, therefore, not be travelling to take part in the UEFA U16 Development Tournament starting on Friday. 

Nigeria Football Federation (NFF)

Previously, the Nigerian team was denied visas and did not make it to attend a match with Argentina due to visa issues.

In general, Schengen visa rejections for Nigerians are quite high. According to the Schengen Statistics Portal, Nigerian visa applicants were rejected six per cent of all requests that were filed.

This makes Nigerians the tenth-largest nationality with the most rejected visas for the year. In total 42,940 visas were denied, representing 58.6 per cent of all applications filed.

Countries that rejected most visas from Nigerian applicants were France, Spain and Italy. France rejected 19,857 visas, representing 46.4 per cent of all visas. Spain rejected around 6,457 visas while 5,417 applications were rejected by Italy.

On the other hand, countries that rejected visas the fewest for this nationality are Greece (203), Poland (235) and Czechia (265).