Nigeria: Fans’ Association seizes FIFA on visa policies of host countries of competitions

The Nigeria Football Supporters Club (NFSC) has formally lodged a complaint with FIFA, the world football governing body, over the abhorrent policies put in place by nations that are awarded the right to host a major football event.

According to the formal complaint made by the supporters’ club and made available to Africa Foot United, the petition which was addressed to the President of FIFA, Gianni Infantino, under the title « Complaint against host nations implementing a policy odious in the process of hosting major football events”.

The document complains about how Costa Rica denied NFSC members visas to travel and support the Falconets in the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup hosted by the South American country. Costa Rica does not have an embassy in Nigeria, which has required NFSC members to apply strictly online as arranged beforehand. But the Costa Rican embassy did not give due consideration to the requests and instead created obnoxious policies that made it impossible to grant visas to members.

This did not sit well with the members of the NFSC, who were conspicuously absent from every game the Falconets played during the tournament, until they were beaten by the Netherlands in the quarter-finals. The NFSC, who made their debut for Nigeria’s Super Eagles in the 1994 FIFA World Cup in the United States, have also appeared in all the World Cups Nigeria have taken part in. They have also attended several other major football events and are appealing through the letter of complaint, asking FIFA to critically examine the issues surrounding visa issuance and its modalities.

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