Five members of the Super Falcons were forced to travel by road from Douala to Yaounde on Wednesday, as the aircraft they were meant to fly with developed electrical fault shortly before take off.
Nigeria will take on hosts Cameroon in the final of this year’s African Women’s Cup of Nations on Sunday, after defeating South Africa 1-0 in their semi-final clash.
The team were scheduled to leave Douala at 9am, for a 45-minute flight to Yaounde – it is four hours by road.
Florence Omagbemi’s ladies arrived at the airport, along with their South African counterparts, who play Ghana’s Black Queens in Friday’s third-place match.
On getting to Douala airport, CAF officials could not secure enough seats for the entire Nigerian team on one plane.
“The team experienced some delay at the airport, but at the end, all the players and officials could not travel together in one plane because it was a small aircraft which could not accommodate both Nigeria and the South African team at the same time. As a result, five members of the team were left behind,” a member of the team told the Guardian.
“Those five people were later checked into another plane, but just as they were preparing to commence the journey to Yaoundé, smoke started coming out from the plane due to electrical problem and everybody was evacuated. The five people had to embark on their journey by road to Yaoundé.
“Those who took the flight, even had to leave their luggage behind in Douala, because of the size of the plane”, he added.
This incident is coming less than 24 hours after Brazilian football players were involved in a plane crash on their way to a match in Colombia.