Ifreke Talks Sports – When Stephen Keshi Occupied the Stadium

by ‘Ifreke Inyang

The friendly game between the Super Eagles Team B and the Angolan National team had been announced since last year. But most people expected the game to be called off, as a national strike had started on Monday. It wasn’t. Stephen Keshi’s new look team which was made up of domestic league players, played a goalless draw.

Credit must however be given to the local lads who played the game. They held their own against a much established Angolan side. The Palancas Negras, led by Manucho, Manchester United’s forgotten striker, dominated the opening exchanges. Eventually, the inexperienced trio of Uche Ossai, Obinna Nwachukwu and Sunday Mba came into the game, imposing themselves in midfield. The Nigerians grew in confidence and it was profligacy that prevented them after emerging victorious.

According to the media officer of the team, Colin Udoh, the turned out was less than 10,000. People simply didnt show up to watch the match despite the fact that the gates were throw open and spectators didn’t have to buy tickets.

That number is a far cry from the capacity crowds that have turned up in the past. It is almost negligible when compared to the number of people that turn out daily around the country to protest the removal of fuel subsidy. A lot of questions beg for answers: Isn’t the Nigerian Football Federation interested in the state of the nation? Or maybe they support the removal of the subsidy?

The Nigerian Supporters’ Club has been recognised all over the world time and again as one of the best part of a soccer game, however, they were conspicuously missing in action. First, movement around the country has been crippled and secondly, at this point in time, there is another cause they are lending their voice to.



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