FIFA Women’s World Cup: Australian Embassy Frustrates Fans Clubs With Issuance of Visas

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By : Sunday Agunbiade Mr VAR

The Executives of Football Fans and Supporters Clubs in Nigeria have alleged that the delay in the Issuance of visas to members of the club in the ongoing FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand is crippling the Travelling plans of the groups and terms it a strategy against Women’s team.

The President of Football Fans Club of Nigeria Amb.kemi Ogunfuwa made the claims while addressing journalists in Abuja alleging that it’s gradually becoming obvious that the organizers might not want the Super Falcons the best form of outing in the global fiesta.

According to one of the members; “All of us are stranded here as the high commission is refusing us visas after paying and fulfilling all travelling requirements. Supporting our girls in the global stage like this could serve as tonic to do the magic ” Said one of the frustrated members.

Another reaction has it that : “one thing people should realise is that the Fans Clubs has become part of Nigerian football culture, leaving us out of this tournament with huge amount of money paid and efforts made on applications is like leaving honey out of prayer for a newly wedded couple”

In a separate interviews made to group members and executives:

“After we bought our tickets from NFF, we got a covering letter and thereafter proceeded to process our visas. All the requirements have been met including match tickets. We even got receipts of match tickets”. FIFA also sent in an undertaking letter signed and stamped with our seals by various group leaders.

“We are yet to be given visas. We have been all over the world and no world cup has ever been like this. Our members came from all over the country, North, South ,West and East to Abuja to do biometrics . No visa has been given yet. We have been refused every single opportunity to give our girls needed support in Australia. On a good day, when you are visiting Qatar, Brazil, or Russia, you have to go through their normal visa process but when it’s World Cup, it is supposed to be flexible. But they made sure we paid for visa fee, we also paid Agency that we fill the form online, paid for insurance, paid for hotel reservation and we all did biometrics for capturing. They collected all those money and yet refusing us.

Mama Nigeria as Ogunfuwa is fondly called added that: “At least we have received 30% refusals, wherein 70% are awaiting replies from the embassy. They have not given anybody visas. What is the assurance that they will give the rest of us. There is no assurance . The NFF has intervened with the Australian high Commission in Abuja but they said they would look into it. As I speak to you guys nothing has been done to that effect.There is no Australia Embassy here in Nigeria and they are taking advantage of that against us. We have spent so much time and resources. Nigeria is going to meet Australia in second match. Thank God for Nigerians that are there in Australia but they will not give full support like we needed for the girls. We have spent so much time and resources for all our applications but nothing positive yet. Our last badge of people that submitted was on 7th July, 2023. Can you imagine that the refusal letter they gave was dated 27th of June?????

This means that even before we submitted our applications and Biometrics, they had refused us on arrival as all our names submitted through NFF already known by the Australia.” The CAF Award winning Matriarch lamented.

Nigeria will lock on against the host country, Australia on Thursday 27th July while the last match of the group phase takes place on Monday 31st July ,2023 with fans Club refusing visas.

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