Media personnel faced restrictions on Wednesday as journalists were denied access to the Mobolaji Johnson Arena in Lagos, where the Super Eagles held their regular training session in preparation for their upcoming 2023 AFCON qualifier against Sierra Leone in Monrovia on Sunday.
Femi Raji, the Eagles’ media officer, had initially informed media personnel via WhatsApp that the team would be training in the evening, allowing session coverage.
The message read, “AFCON 2023 QUALIFIER. June 14, 2023. Training: 5.50 pm. Venue: Mobolaji Johnson Arena. Media Access”
Following the conclusion of the match between Sporting Lagos and Smart City, soldiers, police officers, and officials of the Lagos Neighbourhood Safety Corps instructed journalists to leave the stadium premises around 5 pm.
A police officer stated that he had received a new directive from the Chief Security Officer of the Super Eagles, ordering all press personnel to exit the stadium.
Despite some journalists waiting outside the stadium gates in anticipation of the arrival of the Eagles, their pleas to be allowed entry was ignored.
The security personnel remained unyielding and disregarded the identity cards presented by the reporters, despite their claims of being invited to cover the event.