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The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) said it was not involved in the traveling plans that has left Nigeria’s U-20 Women’s team, Falconets, stranded for 24 hours at Istanbul, Turkey.

Pictures of the Falconets sleeping on the floor at the Istanbul Airport sparked rage on social media on Wednesday with fans blaming the Federation for negligence.

The Falconets were returning home following their exit at the Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica after bowing out of the tournament on Sunday, following a 0-2 loss to Netherlands in the quarter finals stage.

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However, Demola Olajire, NFF’s spokesman, said in a statement on Wednesday that the situation was due to inability to secure transit visas for the team.

Mr Olajire also reported Mohammed Sanusi, General Secretary of the NFF, as saying that the tickets were booked by FIFA and not the federation.

“The NFF did not book the team’s tickets from Costa Rica, FIFA did.

“FIFA also did not envisage the hitches that saw the team delayed for more than three hours in Bogota, and another one hour in Panama. By the time the team got to Istanbul, the flight to Abuja had left.

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“Our officials pleaded for compassionate transit visas to take the players and officials to a hotel inside the town, but this was not possible.

“They were informed that Nigeria had been removed from the list of countries whose citizens were issued visa-on-arrival in Turkey.

“The airline then took the team to a sleeping area at the airport and gave them tickets to have meals every five hours.

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