Bloemfontein Celtic’s CAF Confederation Cup opponents, Nigerian club Rivers United, are claiming that the South African government is holding up their trip for next week’s first leg game.
Rivers United are scheduled to play Celtic in Bloemfontein next Wednesday in the first round of the competition, but they say they are struggling to get their visas from the South African Embassy.
The Nigerian club released a statement in their home country this week, saying they are concerned that it may not be sorted before they are scheduled to fly to South Africa on Friday.
“Despite fulfilling all requirements to obtain visa, the South African Embassy in Nigeria has continued to frustrate every effort of Rivers United,” a statement released by Rivers United media offer Charles Mayuku read.
“Rivers United is due to play Celtic Football Club in the first leg, first round of CAF Confederation Cup in Bloemfontein, South Africa on Wednesday, December 23, 2020.”
“The only available flight to South Africa is on Friday 18th December, 2020.”
“Unfolding events point to the fact that Rivers United may not make the trip, owing to combined issues of non-issuance of visa and availability of flight later than Friday.”
“Officials of Rivers United have frequented the South African embassy in Abuja, pleading and begging for visas to be issued urgently.”
“Every condition laid before Rivers United officials have been met with cogent and verifiable documents, necessary for a such trip.”
“An official of the team has been in Abuja since December 7, a day after Rivers United’s clash with Futuro Kings of Equatorial Guinea in the preliminary round of the Confederation Cup.”
“Whilst Rivers United officials are still pulling all strings to ensure urgent issuance of the visas, there are fears it may be futile.”
“The Confederation of African Football (CAF) and Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) have been notified of the unfolding scenario, hence the need to also inform Nigerians.”
“The club is determined to play both legs of the clash and qualify for the next round, hence the appeal to the South African embassy to do the needful and quickly too.”