NAIROBI, Kenya, March 21- The picture says it all. Celtic and UEFA Champions League midfield star, Victor Wanyama doing his stretching exercises against a village background that is far removed from the pristine surroundings he is used in Scotland or other European capitals he has had the opportunity to grace.
As head coach Adel Amrouche leads his side to a jog to shake off jet-lag, another photo shows two stones placed to mark a goal, the irony not lost on anyone who sees the picture.
This is the hostile treatment that greeted Harambee Stars upon arrival to Lagos sparking an immediate protest letter from Football Kenya Federation (FKF) to their Nigerian counterparts ahead of their Saturday 2014 World Cup qualifier in Calabar.
Speaking to Capital Sport on the matter, Commissioner for Sport, Gordon Olouch said the Sports Ministry was already on the matter since the maltreatment extends beyond the hands of FKF.
“We are aware of what is going on and I have been in discussion with FKF on the matter. We are trying to engage our High Commission in Nigeria that is far away in Abuja to get involved.
“This treatment is unacceptable and I intend to raise the issue with the Minister and we could issue a statement later on what is going on once we get the full briefing,” Oluoch added.
Upon arrival, Adel Amrouche’s squad were led to train at Ajao Estate Primary School in Isolo and booked into the slap dash Silver Grander hotel at Ajao Estate, hardly the ideal settings for a pub team, let alone a national side.
The estate is close to the Murtala Mohammed International Airport where the team landed but the necessary facilities for a team preparing for such a high profile encounter were simply unacceptable as the pictures from Lagos herein show.
“The Kenya National Football Team Harambee Stars arrived in Lagos Nigeria today 20th March, 2013 in the afternoon for the World Cup Brazil 2014 Qualifier matches against the Nigeria National Team scheduled for Saturday in Calabar.
“As per your earlier Correspondence and Commitment our national team was to be flown to Calabar upon arrival, but this has not been done yet. The Kenya team is still held up in Lagos and booked in a substandard hotel and without a training ground.
“We demand that the team he flown to Calabar by today, be availed a training ground and be accommodated in a hotel that befits the status and dignity of a national Team.
“We urgently seek your intervention to address the issues raised as a matter of utmost urgency,” the FKF protest letter to Nigeria Football Federation signed by Secretary Michael Esakwa read in full.
In contrast, Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi and his squad have been training at the match venue from Monday with the last members of the squad called up for the match joining their teammates on Wednesday.