Nigeria say Kenya are responsible for their own travel troubles in Nigeria, and chose a dilapidated primary school to train despite being offered a much better pitch at National Stadium, Lagos.
On Wednesday, pictures emerged showing Harambee Stars players training on a grassless ground in Lagos, and their officials reportedly blaming their Nigerian counterparts for shoddy arrangements
But NFF official Bola Oyeyode, who is the coordinator for the game, told KickOffNigeria.com that the Kenyans had no one to blame but themselves.
“To start with, they were playing hide and seek about their travel arrangements,” Oyeyode began. “They refused to communicate their arrival date to us despite numerous letters from us to them.
“In all those communications, we copied their embassy here and Fifa and we still have the letters here.
“It was only on Monday afternoon that they wrote to us informing us they would arrive on Wednesday afternoon.
“Even their embassy was finding it hard getting information out of them. an embassy official called Mr Tony was doing his best to help us, but even he could not get anything out of them.”
When information eventually came, it was too limited, according to Oyeyode.
“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.
“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 advise 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 but one their men on the ground here, and they chose that primary school to train.”