BY JOHN EGBOKHAN
The junior national team, the Flying Eagles arrived the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja Wednesday to a rapturous reception from hundreds of Nigerians who were on hand to welcome them back home after a fruitless campaign at the 2011 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Colombia.
The Air France plane that conveyed the team and their officials touched down 6 pm local time, but it took them over 45 minutes to check out.
Members of the Nigeria Football Supporters club set the tone for the airport reception with their drums and trumpets to accord the team a respectable reception which was attended by football fans, family members and friends of the players.
There were also scores of journalists on ground to get first hand information from the players who raised so much hope at the commencement of the tournament only to dash them in the round of 8 with a 2-3 loss against France.
Appearing from the plane, team coach, John Obuh pleaded with Nigerians to forgive them, saying “we had no cause to fail. We are sorry for the disappointment but hope we will be given a second chance to correct our mistakes.”
Team captain Ramon Azeez on behalf of his colleagues, echoed their coach’s statement, begging Nigerians for forgiveness. “We have learnt a lot and hope to make up for our mistakes in future,” Azeez said.
A football fan who was among the crowd yelled in consternation,”so France have succeeded in actually sending the Flying Eagles home with an Air France flight.”