World Cup 2018: Nigerians stranded in Russia after scam

Not fewer than 80 Nigerians stuck in Russia went to the embassy to ask for help to return to their country.

According to Oleg Melnikov, a representative of the charity “Alternativa”, most of this Nigerians had bought “Fan ID” tickets for fans who came to watch the world cup live.

They hoped to be able to live there and find work but they found themselves ripped off and penniless.

During the World Cup, a large number of Nigerians were pushed into prostitution yet they were made to understand that they would find decent jobs once they arrived in Russia.

However, a supporter also stuck in Russia said he never intended to stay in the country.

“We came here to advocate with our government in Nigeria because we came here to watch football, and we paid our plane ticket. Unfortunately, we can not go home and we are disappointed.”

“We want to go back, and that’s why we’re begging both our government and Russia to help us.”

While looking for a solution to this problem, the Nigerian Embassy decided to house them in the hotels for five days.

Around 50 Nigerians spent the night of Thursday to Friday on the pavement in front of the Nigerian embassy in Moscow.

Nigerian embassy spokesman Olumide Ajayi told AFP on Friday that it had made arrangements to house 57 stranded Nigerians and would work with Russian authorities and airlines to find a way to send them home.

The Olamilekan brothers meanwhile are waiting to board the return flights. They funded the whole trip with money their parents borrowed.

“We don’t have any option but to go back home and work and pay our parents’ debts,” Ismail said.

“I spoke to them last night. They asked if we’ve got a job and if we’re living well and I decided to tell them yes. I don’t like lying to my parents,” he said.

“I still give thanks to God because he has taught me a lesson.”

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