Nigerians blast Wydad Casablanca as Moroccan authorities deny Enyimba's plane landing

Enyimba are in Morocco to face Wydad.

Nigerians blast Wydad Casablanca as Moroccan authorities deny Enyimba's plane landing

Izuchukwu Akawor 09:41 - 24.10.2023

Morocco's Wydad Casablanca and Enyimba FC of Nigeria are set for a head-to-head battle in the African Football League, AFL.

An incident involving Nigerian champions, Enyimba Football Club, in Morocco has sparked outrage among Nigerians. 

Moroccan authorities have reportedly denied landing permission for Enyimba’s chartered plane, which has sent shockwaves throughout the Nigerian football community. 

Enyimba and Wydad

The People’s Elephant, Nigeria’s most successful and one of Africa’s most renowned football clubs, was scheduled to arrive in Casablanca ahead of the crucial fixture in the African Football League, AFL, against Wydad on Wednesday.

This encounter holds immense significance for the Nigerian champions, especially after the first leg ended 1-0 in favour of Wydad in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, on Sunday.

Enyimba players lineup before the first leg in Uyo
Enyimba players lineup before the first leg in Uyo. (Photo Credit: Enyimba/X)

However, as Enyimba’s contingent left the shores of the country en route to the venue of the match, the Elephants encountered an unexpected and unsettling obstacle. 

Per the latest report making the rounds, Moroccan authorities, for reasons that are yet to be fully clarified, denied the plane carrying the Nigerian team permission to land. 

Enyimba's Daniel Daga tackles a Wydad Casablanca player in Uyo
Enyimba's Daniel Daga tackles a Wydad Casablanca player in Uyo. (Photo Credit: Enyimba/Facebook)

A video of Enyimba looking stressed in Morocco found its way to social media platform, According to a statement from the Elephants, the team failed to make the trip to Casablanca after they failed to get a landing permit.

“We didn’t make the trip to Casablanca as earlier scheduled after the Moroccan authorities failed to issue a landed permit for a chattered aircraft from the Murtala Mohammed International Airport,” Enyimba said in a statement on Facebook.

Enyimba players jet out for Morocco to face Wydad. (Photo Credit: Enyimba)

The Elephants added that the team returned back to their hotel having spent six hours and 30 minutes in the air while awaiting clearance. 

Nigerians react 

The decision to deny landing rights to a visiting football team has ignited a storm of controversy and condemnation from Nigerians.

Social media platforms have been inundated with messages expressing outrage and disappointment in response to this unexpected setback.

Many Nigerians view the incident as not just a sports-related matter but also a reflection of the broader relationship between the two nations while others accused Wydad of playing dirty tricks and mind games just to ensure they win. 

Here are some of the reactions to the unfortunate situation in Morocco.

As a result of this latest antics from Wydad, the incident has opened up discussions on the need for enhanced communication and cooperation between football governing bodies, sports ministers, and governments to ensure that sporting events are not negatively affected by diplomatic issues.

Nigerians and football fans will await a resolution, as the situation unfolds, that will enable the beautiful game to continue serving as a source of joy, unity, and shared experiences. 

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