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152 Stranded Nigerian World Cup Fans Return Home



The minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, yesterday, in Abuja, received at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, a total of 152 Nigerians, who were stranded in Russia after the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

A statement, issued by the spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Tope Adeleye Elias- Fatile, noted that the minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, worked very closely with the minister of State for Aviation, following President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive that Nigerians who were stranded in the Russian Federation at the end of the 2018 World Cup tournament, should be evacuated immediately.

As a result of this, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has been monitoring the process of the evacuation, which was under the coordination of the Mission of Nigeria in Moscow.

The aircraft that conveyed them arrived Moscow from Addis Ababa at 13.20 hours (local time) earlier, yesterday and departed Domodedovo Airport in Moscow with the stranded Nigerians at 08.30 hours, Friday, 20th July, 2018 to arrive Abuja at 18.00 hours, same day.

“It would be recalled that over 150 stranded Nigerians besieged the Embassy of Nigeria in Moscow on Thursday, 12th July, 2018. They were among the fans who travelled to the Russian Federation for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Tournament and were stranded after the events due to lack of funds for their upkeep as well as allegation that some airline travel agents cancelled return tickets of their customers without their knowledge.

”Consequently, the Mission submitted a formal complaint to host authorities against the airlines that brought the stranded Nigerians to the Russian Federation, especially those without return tickets and highlighted that it contravened the rules and regulations of the International Air Transport Association (IATA). The Mission also made arrangements for the feeding and accommodation of the stranded Nigerians in hostels around Moscow. On Monday, 16th of July, 2018, Mr President directed that they should be evacuated to Abuja immediately,” the statement said.