Isima, Odegbami, Amiesimaka, Lawal, Chukwu, Owolabi, Ogedengbe. Names that can without end be revered in Nigeria, particularly among the many older ones who witnessed what was a footballing masterclass in 1980. Nigeria hosted the twelfth version of the biennial African Nations Cup event, beating Algeria 3-0 within the last courtesy of two targets from the wing wizard, Segun ‘The Mathematical’ Odegbami, and a strike from the mercurial Muda Lawal.
Lagos was the darling of Nigerian soccer followers, and the Green Eagles, as they had been referred to as again then, might do no flawed within the eyes of the teeming crowd on the National Stadium in Surulere, swatting apart opponents with relative ease. In 2000, the love between Lagos and the nationwide group would attain a tipping level. The scene was the National Stadium. It was the ultimate of the Ghana/Nigeria 2000 and the date was thirteenth, February 2000. Victor Ikpeba, the 1997 African Footballer Of The Year had simply hit the bar from the spot in a penalty shootout, with Rigobert Song hitting the winner in entrance of a shocked and silent Lagos crowd. Nigeria had come from two targets down however in the end misplaced when it mattered most in a recreation of sudden dying.
Losing to Cameroon in 2000 was the ultimate straw, as that they had defeated Nigeria within the 1984 and 1988 showpieces, and it’s one loss Nigerians have a tendency to recollect the stadium with. The National Stadium since that point has been a relic of the previous, taking part in host to simply exhibition matches. Like its next-door neighbour, the Teslim Balogun Stadium acquired renovated and performed host to worldwide tournaments, most notably the 2009 U-17 World Cup.
Many elements have been attributed to Lagos seeing much less of the Super Eagles. This article highlights 3 of such elements.
Successive governments have allowed the National Stadium, Surulere to enter a state of disrepair. It has turn out to be a shadow of its former self and with many stadia throughout the nation, the Football Federation had determined that Lagos received’t be the everlasting residence of the Eagles, taking video games to Abuja, Kano, Kaduna, Enugu, Calabar, Uyo, and recently, Benin, primarily to permit different components of the nation have a really feel of what it’s wish to host the nationwide group.
The absence of a government-owned soccer group in Lagos taking part in within the Nigerian Professional Football League has additionally led to this, as there was no specific want for the federal government to spend a lot on a facility that isn’t even state-owned, and with out the potential to generate sufficient revenue to offset the price of refurbishing it.
“You can’t please Lagos fans”
The strain of taking part in in Lagos is excessive and more often than not will get to the gamers. Even whereas profitable, songs of scoring extra targets fill the air, with the gamers getting stressed and breathless all within the title of pleasing the followers. The followers are eerily quiet when issues aren’t going the group’s approach, and for a group that solely performs periodically, the gamers imagine the followers ought to do extra to assist the group. This has made the soccer authorities play ‘safe’ by taking the video games across the nation, with not sufficient time spent at a specific place to permit followers to start out turning into entitled, which in the end results in undue strain on the gamers.
The query of financial worth
From a monetary standpoint, what actually is the worth of taking part in in Lagos? Is it sponsorship? The authorities can get it from taking part in elsewhere, so long as there’s viewership on TV and different media. One would argue about game-day income, however the apathy from Nigerian soccer followers to Nigerian groups is well-known. What is the prospect of taking part in in a giant stadium when followers received’t fill half of it?
There can be the query of what bringing the Super Eagles means to the area people. While the joy and buzz are in contrast to anyplace within the nation, does it translate in type to the area people when it comes to income? Tournaments might assist on this regard, and never one-off video games.
Lagos is the religious residence of the Eagles, and it’s time they return residence. However, returning should imply that the benefits outweigh the disadvantages, and never only a sentimental or emotional determination. If it’s the previous, it might be good, but when it’s the latter, it might be a everlasting break from a spot that after held comfortable reminiscences for everybody related to the inexperienced and white.