- Zambia FA reduces gate fee for crowd attendance
A former Super Eagles defender, Taribo West, has warned Coach Gernot Rohr and his wards to be wary of tricky Chipolopolo forwards as Nigeria opens her 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification campaign against Zambia this weekend in Ndola.
Speaking in Lagos yesterday, Taribo insisted that Zambia’s strength is the ability of its dangerous strike force to rip apart any unsuspecting defence.
“Zambia’s strength is its forward. The boys are fast and dangerous. They may not be as good as the generation that won the Africa Cup of Nations in Gabon in 2012, yet, Eagles defence should not go to sleep at any time when we play them this weekend in Ndola,” observed Taribo who won the Atlanta Olympic Games gold medal in 1996.
Taribo is however unfazed with the pedigree of the Cooper Bullets’ firepower upfront. He believes that Eagles have the capacity to contain them.
“I am happy with the quality of the boys in the current Eagles. They are young and strong even though they are mostly inexperienced. All they need is the same spirit with which they played Tanzania last month in Uyo,” stressed the ex international With Taribo’s experience at France ’98 and Japan/Korea 2002 World Cups, the Rivers State born ex footballer said that it will be disastrous for Nigeria to begin the Russia 2018 qualifiers on a shaking note against Zambia.
“It will be disastrous for Nigeria to begin the qualifiers with a defeat this weekend. After missing the AFCON back-to-back, starting the World Cup on a shaking note will not be good at all. I hope our boys will play Zambia with the same zeal they played the last AFCON 2017 at Uyo,”
Asked what will be the repercussion for football in the country if Nigeria fails to make the cut to Russia, Taribo said it is unthinkable.
“Please don’t just think about that happening. After we missed two AFCON back to back failing to qualify for the World Cup in Russia will create an uproar amongst football fans in the country. Fans will descend on the Glass House in Abuja asking everybody to leave the place,” reasoned Taribo.
Super Eagles converged on Abuja early this week to begin preparation for the trip to Ndola.
All the invited 23 players began training at the Abuja National Stadium on Tuesday evening. The team is expected to fly into Zambia by a chartered flight on Saturday morning.
Meanwhile, the Zambia Football Federation (ZFF) has elected to lower the gate fees of the match in a bid to ensure full house in the satdium.
The FA reportedly announced gate charges as low as 25 Kwacha, less than Nigeria’s Naira, for a section of the popular side and the highest charge of 500 Kwacha for the VIP section.
The decision, according to reports is in a bid to fill up the 49,800 capacity Estadio de la Levy Mwanawasa Stadium in Ndola, venue of the game and create enough buzz to hopefully intimidate the Super Eagles.
The Mwasawana Stadium, named after Zambia’s third president, entertained its first official international match on 9 June 2012 when the Chipolopolo pipped Ghana’s Black Stars 1-0 in a similar World Cup qualifier.
Tickets came on sales on Tuesday afternoon at a couple of centres in Lusaka and Kabwe.