It is no longer news that Enyimba FC of Aba have arrived Setif for their CAF Confederation Cup game against ES Setif. Although they arrived the Algerian City safely, it was not always a smooth journey.
As the rules demand, the club was expected to undergo a mandatory Covid19 test. This they did in a Government owned hospital and fortunately for them, the results all returned negative. Little did they know that they would get a shocker at the airport in Lagos, Nigeria
According to a reliable source, when the team got to Lagos to book a flight, they were told to undergo a mandatory Covid19 testing. The officials at the airport told the team that the Federal Government directed that testing should be done at private laboratories and that the Federal Government had directed the officials at the airport to reject results from Government hospitals which are cheap.
The team’s flight was about to take off and the team had to spend money outside their budget and it cost almost 2 million naira. At that time, Enyimba stood the risk of missing their flight and would probably miss the match and that means they could be thrown out of the competition by CAF.
This is coming at a time that Enyimba is representing the country and should be treated like a national treasure, hence they should get a waiver. For example, Ahli Benghazi reportedly came to Nigeria through a chartered flight by the Libyan Government
There is no direct flight to Algeria from Nigeria, so they had to fly to Doha in Qatar, Asia. The team had to go through that stress of moving out of Africa to Asia before returning to Africa, and also spent 16 hours flight time. When they got to Algeria, they were made to wait for 3 hours at the airport because of immigration.
ES Setif informed Enyimba that they could not get an airplane to lift them from Algiers to Setif, so they had to travel by road for another 5 hours. When the players arrived Setif, they were already tired and it would be a miracle if they find the strength to train
Going forward, the Nigerian Government can support the club by granting them waivers or conducting free Covid19 tests for them; for now, they represent Nigeria, not just Abia State