Several Super Eagles stars have encountered a nerve-wracking situation ahead of their final Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Sao Tome and Principe, Soccernet.ng reports.
The Nigerian players, who had been part of the camp since it opened on Wednesday, September 6, found themselves in a somewhat alarming predicament inside an elevator in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State.
Nigeria have already secured their spot in the AFCON tournament in Ivory Coast, rendering the Sao Tome and Principe match a formality.
Still, head coach Jose Peseiro invited many of the country’s elite talents, including the likes of Napoli’s prolific goal-scorer Victor Osimhen, Nottingham’s Taiwo Awoniyi, Gent’s Gift Orban, and Bayer Leverkusen’s Victor Boniface.
As they prepare for the game, the Super Eagles have been accommodated at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel in Ikot Ekpene Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
The team had undergone several training sessions, and their overall demeanour appeared composed and relaxed.
A disturbing incident, however, nearly overturned that peace and tranquility.
The hotel’s elevator malfunctioned, leaving AC Milan’s Samuel Chukwueze, goalkeeper Francis Uzoho, Nottingham Forest’s Ola Aina, West Brom’s Semi Ajayi and others trapped inside.
A video of the incident posted on Instagram captured some players’ attempts to release the elevator’s doors manually.
While some onlookers seemed to find amusement in the situation, it was evident that a few players were genuinely unnerved by the experience.
Thankfully, Boavista defender Bruno Onyemaechi took the lead in successfully prying open the elevator’s doors, ensuring the players’ safe exit. Southampton midfielder Joe Aribo, visibly relieved, was seen making a sign of the cross after the ordeal had passed.
The incident concluded without harming anyone, allowing the Super Eagles to continue preparing for Sunday’s match with Sao Tome and Principe.