The last training of Super Eagles on Wednesday recorded a protest by over 300 football fans, who confronted security agents after they were shut out of the stadium.
The team has been camping at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba, Delta State.
Nigeria will on Saturday take on Bafana Bafana of South Africa in Johannesburg in an AFCON 2019 qualifying match.
The team had a two-hour light training in closed doors contrary to the team’s management earlier plan to make the final day of training open to fans.
NAN reports that the angry fans shouted for over an hour in protest against what they described as “unfair treatment by management of the team”.
One of them, Uche Ezendu, a trader, claimed that he closed his shop to come and watch the Super Eagles, but was disappointed after he and many other fans were denied entry into the stadium.
“We came here as patriotic Nigerians to watch the boys and wish them success before they depart for South Africa, but they locked us out. This is very unfair. Why the closed-door training?” he queried.
Another fan, Adebimpe Afolabi, a tailor, said he came all the way from the neighbouring Ogwashi-Uku to watch and cheer the Nigerian team in training, but was shocked that fans were not allowed in.
“We heard that today (Wednesday) would be open day training where the fans would be allowed to watch the players. But surprisingly, they changed the plan without any information. Many of us left our businesses to come here.
“This is the height of deceit by the NFF and as Nigerians who love football, we condemn this ill-treatment of fans. This is why many Nigerian football fans would rather support European football,” Afolabi said.
Super Eagles Media Officer, Toyin Ibitoye, who had a hectic time trying to appease the fans, told NAN that the decision to make the final day training a closed-door affair was borne out of a late change of programme.
“I can feel for the fans, but there is nothing we can do because we had a change of programme. Tuesday’s training was supposed to be closed, but we made it open.
“So today, Wednesday, being the final day of the training, we decided to make it a closed-door affair to balance the change that had affected our earlier plan,” Ibitoye said.