Nigeria’s amputee football team begin World Cup with a defeat

The Special Eagles began their World Cup history with a 6-0 defeat to Brazil.

Nigeria’s amputee football team begin World Cup with a defeat

Nigeria's amputee football team lost their opening match 6-0 to Brazil at the 2018 World Cup in Mexico.

Several players of the team, known as the “Special Eagles”, landed on Sunday in the city of San Juan de los Lagos, Mexico, just a few hours before the start of the Brazil encounter.

Their next rivals at the group stage are Russia and El Salvador.

Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, and Angola are Africa’s other representatives in the 2018 Amputee Football World Cup.

Tons of support for the Super Eagles

The story of the Nigerian amputee football team caught the public attention due to a crowdfunding campaign started in order to obtain the necessary funds to fly to Mexico.

Due to a lack of finances, the Special Eagles missed the last three World Cups.

Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) president, Amaju Pinnick, the Super Eagles squad, as well as the country's former vice-president Atiku Abubakar, made significant financial contributions to get the squad to Mexico.

'It's a dream come true for these players to be at the World Cup after over a decade of training, dreaming and hoping,' said the coordinator of the fund-raising campaign, Fred Edoreh.

'We thank the NFF president, the Super Eagles, former vice-president Atiku and the general public for their incredible support.'

Nigeria captain John Mikel Obi, who had pledged financial and moral support to the cash-strapped team, provided two flight tickets and bought kits for the squad.

Angola, Kenya, and Ghana represented Africa at the 2014 Amputee World Cup in Culiacán, Mexico. The Angolans finished as runners-up after losing 3-1 to Russia in the final match.