Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) has yet again imprinted its name in the history books by being the first to host an American football match in the entire West African sub-region.
The historic match which pitted the Lagos Marines against hosts ABU saw the more experienced home team devour the visitors 26-14 in the highly entertaining encounter last weekend.
Being the first time, oganisers were not anticipating the unprecedented large turn-out of spectators that thronged the ABU Sports Complex to catch a glimpse of the gladiators in the historic game.
Fans of American football who were attracted from all over the country were excited all through the encounter, presenting Nigerians with another pulsating option to the regular football.
Speaking in an interview after the encounter, President of the Nigerian Institute of American Football, Professor Adamu Ahmed said that he was impressed by the impact the first outing had on the spectators.
“We are really thrilled with the huge followership this first game has generated,” he noted with excited.
He explained that the thought of ABU hosting the match was first muted in 2012 during the 50th anniversary celebration of the institution, a decision all stakeholders are today very proud of.
“Through a network of alumni of ABU led by NBA star, Ejike Ugboaja, we were able to bring coaches to Nigeria to lecture in seminars. We then started the national secretariat at the ABU Faculty of Agriculture,” explained Professor Ahmed.
He said that the vice chancellor of the university contributed tremendously in the development of the game so far by providing moral and financial support.
“The vice chancellor was magnanimous in starting a certificate course in American Football which will in no time transform into a diploma course,” he revealed.
The Nigerian Institute of American Football has coaches Oliver B. Johnson, Daryl Hayes, and Ricardo Dickerson as members. ABU alumni, Ejike Ugboaja is also a board member.