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By our correspondent
Nigeria Professional Football League champions Rivers United were prevented from leaving their hotel by Moroccan police ahead of their crucial CAF Champions League second round second leg on Sunday.
The Pride of Rivers which landed in Morocco in the last hours of Thursday had obtained a facility to train Friday afternoon for the match.
However, as they left for the training session, the police officers banned the players and team officials from leaving the hotel citing that they had not obtained government clearance, despite the fact that the installation was paid for.
Rivers United are duly due to train on Saturday at the Mohammed V Stadium as per the CAF mandate but, for good reason, the team have learned that they will not be able to use said facility tomorrow as well.
The team has so far informed the Nigerian Embassy in Morocco of the shocking development through the Nigerian Football Federation who have also informed the Confederation of African Football (CAF) pending their response.
Meanwhile, the CAF Chief of Security Dr. Chris Emeruwa provided clarification on what happened.
According to him, “The team has reserved a training site in Mohammed which is a city outside of Casablanca. In Morocco, the police cannot provide escort services beyond their jurisdiction as they needed time to contact the Gendarmerie so that they could hand over and allow the Gendarmerie to escort the team to his training site.
“Organizing such a change of escort requires some time and that’s why the police asked the team to wait a bit because I’m typing now that the team is almost at the training site.”
Meanwhile, after being barred from training ahead of the second leg of the CAF Champions League 2nd preliminary round against Wydad AC on Sunday, October 16, 2022, the NPFL champions who hold a 2- 1 in the first leg,
walked around the hotel Oum Palace Casablanca, Morocco where they are staying.
The aggregate winner of the fixtures will qualify for the group stage of the continent’s premier league