Home Travel & Adventure Spain Denies Visas to Nigerian Team for U16 Championship

Spain Denies Visas to Nigerian Team for U16 Championship


The Future Eagles team will not participate in the UEFA U16 Development Tournament after Spain refused their visas, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has announced.

The first match of the Nigerian team was set to take place on April 12, 2024, SchengenVisaInfo reports.

Players and officials of the Nigeria U15 team, Future Eagles, have been denied visas by the Spanish Embassy and will, therefore, not be travelling to take part in the UEFA U16 Development Tournament starting on Friday.


As per NFF, the Future Eagles team had received a special invitation to this competition “as a result of Nigeria’s pedigree in youth football”.

The team was set to arrive in Spain before the tournament on Tuesday, as reported by the Cable newspaper. Their first match was planned against Belgium on Friday, followed by two other games against Italy and England.

Furthermore, the Future Eagles, led by Coach Patrick Bassey, went to Morocco last month to prepare for the tournament. Then, they came back to Nigeria and trained for another week at the Remo Stars’ Sports Institute in Ikenne.

The UEFA U16 development tournament is a yearly event aimed at developing young talents. The upcoming tournament for 2024 is scheduled to take place at the Pinatar Arena Football Centre located in San Pedro del Pinatar, Murcia, Spain.

Visa Issues Prevent Nigerians from Playing Friendly Match with Argentina

This is not the first time the Nigerian team has been unable to attend a match due to visa issues.

In February 2023, the Argentinian Football Association (AFA) announced that the friendly match between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and Albiceleste of Argentina had been cancelled “due to an administrative problem with visas”.

According to AFA’s statement, back then, the Nigerian team was replaced by the Costa Rica team.

In 2022, Spain Was Among Countries with Highest Rejection Rates for Nigerians

Nigerian citizens faced one of the highest rates of visa rejections from Schengen countries in 2022. More specifically, out of 86,815 visa applications, only 53.4 per cent were approved, according to VisaGuide.World.

Countries with the highest rejection rates for Nigerian applicants were Hungary (66.1 per cent), Spain (65.6 per cent), Belgium (64.7 per cent), and Denmark (63.8 per cent).

As of April 2024, the Nigerian passport ranks 191st, according to the VisaGuide Passport Index. This implies that citizens of Nigeria currently can travel visa-free to only 28 countries.

On the other hand, Nigerian passport holders need visas to travel to 170 different countries worldwide.

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