Over eight Congolese football officials and supporters arrived in Owerri on Thursday ahead of the expected arrival of the official contingent of AC Leopard of Congo for the CAF Confederations Cup game with Heartland FC.
The visitors who claimed that they were an advance party for the 68-man contingent which will come to Nigeria on a chartered aircraft through Port Harcourt Airport on Friday evening were met by the Imo State Football Association officials who brought them to Heartland FC office at the Dan Anyiam Stadium.
Two days earlier, an official from AC Leopard had arrived Nigeria and was already working out modalities for his team’s arrival with Heartland officials before the unannounced arrival of the later group.
Although the group was warmly received by Heartland officials led by the Secretary, Oscar Keke, their request to inspect the Dan Anyiam Stadium pitch – venue of Sunday’s epic encounter – before the arrival of their main team, was turned down because CAF had already inspected and approved the stadium.
They were therefore, told that they can only have access to the venue when their team arrives for training in line with the programmes approved by the Nigeria Football Federation as authorized by CAF.
Already, Heartland had designated a five star hotel along Okigwe Road in Owerri to serve as accommodation for the visiting team and their officials while a nearby hotel was also arranged to accommodate the remainder of the large delegation which included supporters from Congo. .