BY KUNLE SOLAJA
For the first time in 72 years, a Nigerian national team travelled by sea for a match. That was the situation last weekend when the Super Eagles in commando style landed at the Cotonou beach to engage their hosts in the Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Porto Novo.
It was reminiscence of the UK Tourists – Nigeria’s first national team – trip to Liverpool, UK in August 1949.
According to a report in This Day newspapers, the president of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick has revealed that it was the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu that advised the team to opt for a boat ride to Porto Novo instead of the conventional air travel.
“We knew that it’s a short trip to play the match but the option of a road trip was ruled out for safety reasons and if we had opted for air travel, it would be a bit strenuous to the players.
“The hours we will spend on a road trip to the Airport and protocol before boarding the aircraft alone is over three to four hours and the same thing will apply on the return journey, hence it was wisdom at play when we choose to go via water way,” he explained.