Nigeria’s amputee team lose opening game at 2018 World Cup

By Oluwashina OkelejiFootball Writer, Barcelona
Nigeria's amputee football team in Mexico
Some of Nigeria's amputee football team only arrived in Mexico hours before the start of the 2018 World Cup

Nigeria's amputee football team lost their opening match 6-0 to Brazil at the 2018 World Cup in Mexico on Sunday.

Seven of the the Special Eagles' squad only landed in the city of San Juan de Los Lagos a few hours before.

The team will play Russia and El Salvador in their their other group matches later this week.

Ghana, Kenya, Liberia and Angola are the continent's other representatives in Mexico.

The team, who missed the last three World Cups due to a lack of finances, took to crowd-funding earlier this month to help them to travel to compete in this year's tournament.

Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) president, Amaju Pinnick, the Super Eagles squad as well as the country's former vice-president Atiku Abubakar made significant financial contributions to get the squad to the city of San Juan de Los Lagos.

"It's a dream come true for these players to be at the World Cup after over a decade of training, dreaming and hoping," co-ordinator of fund-raising, Fred Edoreh, told BBC Sport.

"We thank the NFF president, the Super Eagles, former vice-president Atiku and the general public for their incredible support."

It has been a tough journey for the team as their bus was involved in an accident en route to the capital Abuja for a visa appointment at the Mexican Embassy two weeks ago.

Nigeria captain John Mikel Obi, who had pledged financial and moral support to the cash-strapped team, provided two flight tickets with the squad still awaiting kits, as promised from his representatives.

Angola, Kenya and Ghana represented Africa at the 2014 World Cup in Culiacán, Mexico.

The Angolans finished as runners-up after losing 3-1 to Russia in the final.

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