Nigerian football supporters
By Duro Ikhazuagbe
The Super Eagles have been tipped to prove bookmakers wrong on Sunday when they take on the Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire in one of the quarter final matches of the on-going 29th Africa Cup of Nations here in South Africa.
President General of the Nigerian Supporters Football Supporters Club, Dr Rafiu Ladipo, said Friday in Johannesburg that he is aware that most bookmakers have already given the trophy to the Ivorians even before the final but said they will all be shocked in the quarter final clash with the Eagles on Sunday.
“Even before the final, all the bookmakers have already handed over the trophy to the Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire. They will all be proved wrong on Sunday when Nigeria will snatch the ticket to the semi final,” boasts the leader of the Nigerian travelling cheer party.
He revealed that he has mobilized his members in the southern African region to come out en-masse to the Royal Bafokeng Sports Complex in Rustenburg to drum and sing to motivate the Eagles to success.
“When we were going to play Ethiopia, we were told that the over 25,000 Ethiopian fans will drown our singing and drumming with their intimidating yellow and green presence. But what happened? We did not only silence them, we ensured that Eagles took the three points at stake and the ticket to the quarter final.
“Osita Peter Okeke is the leader of our South African chapter. He has done serious mobilization of our members and other Nigerians in this region. Just watch out for what we will do on Sunday,” stressed the businessman who has put in over 35 years into cheering the national teams around the world.
Okeke however told THISDAY that some of the challenges they are facing travelling to support the Eagles was lack of support from the Nigeria Football Federation.
“It costs us our hard-earned money to continue to go round mobilizing and supporting the Super Eagles. We just hope that the NFF and the Nigerian embassy here will help with logistics to make more people present at the stadium on Sunday. Ethiopian fans got total support from their embassy here and their football federation. That was why they were able to fill the stadium in all the three matches their team played,” said the South Africa-based cheer leader.