In a mark of solidarity, the Akwa Ibom State Government has declared the AFCON qualifier match between Nigeria and Tanzania scheduled for the Ibom International Stadium on Saturday free for football enthusiasts to watch.
Although the qualifier match will not see Nigeria to the AFCON fiesta, the State Commissioner for Youths and Sports, Mr. Monday Ukoh, said on Wednesday that the state government decided to throw the gate open for fans to cheer the Super Eagles to victory.
According to him, the gesture would attract more fans to watch the Eagles and to ensure the 30,000 capacity Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo is filled during the encounter.
The State Government, the commissioner said, was not unaware of the economic challenges facing many Nigerians, especially youths, hence the need to assist them with free tickets to watch the game.
Football fans in the state have called on the state government not to politicise the tickets as such actions in the past have denied genuine football fans in the area of watching the Super Eagles
According to one of the fans, Abasiama James, the gesture of free tickets by the state government is commendable but it should be made available to everybody on first come first served basis.
“Nice one, but the tickets should be made available for everybody; they should not
politicize it as usual.
“It is not a political event, it’s a football match of the National Team not a political party team, so the idea where only political groups are given the tickets should be stop.” he declared.