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Nigerian wrestling team stranded in Turkey - PUNCH

FEBRUARY 13, 2020

BY  ’Tosin Oluwalowo

The Nigerian wrestling team who represented the country at the African Wresting Championship were left stranded in Istanbul, Turkey, on Wednesday after having their flight to Lagos postponed twice due to weather-related issues.

The team comprising 15 wrestlers and five officials left Algiers to Istanbul before flying to Lagos but could not leave the Turkish capital after the plane was not cleared to fly because of bad weather.

This caused the flight to be cancelled and rescheduled for Wednesday.

“Our team is stuck in Istanbul. Bad weather forces our flight to Lagos to be cancelled.  Our return is now delayed by another day,” the Nigeria Wrestling Federation tweeted on Tuesday.

The team also failed to fly on Wednesday after bad weather disrupted their plane for flying again, causing another delay.

“Sadly, the flight has been cancelled again due to bad weather. The team will have to wait for another day in Istanbul,” the NWF tweeted again on Wednesday.

One of the wrestlers, who spoke to our correspondent on the condition of anonymity, said the Turkish Airline was taking good care of them.

“We are lodged in Olimpic Hotel in Istanbul and they have been taking good care of us and feeding us. They said we would fly tomorrow, even though we are not sure, but they told us we would leave once the weather clears,” she told The PUNCH.

President of the NWF, Daniel Igali, told our correspondent that he had instructed that the flight be redirected to Abuja if the same conditions persist on Thursday.

“The flight was again cancelled today (Wednesday) but apparently it’s because of some dusty conditions, not in Instanbul but in Lagos, because the flight for Abuja left today but they still delayed the Lagos flight,” he told The PUNCH.

“The athletes are okay and they have them in a hotel and feeding them three times daily. So, I had discussions with the coaches and the secretary and I told them to meet the airline and redirect the flight to Abuja tomorrow (today), if it’s going to be the same conditions.”

An official at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos confirmed that the weather situation at the airport had been bad.

“Today (Wednesday) was worse than yesterday (Tuesday). A lot of flights could not land in Lagos and had to go to Lome, Cotonou and Accra to land,” the official told The PUNCH

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