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10 Things Every Old Skool Fan Miss In Nigeria Football


Now it may all sound like the usual ''good old days stories," but if you've not grown up enough to be a football fan in the 70s and 80s you may not believe that Nigeria league was once a bobbling showpiece that leaves everybody captivated.

You may not have experienced anything like it before. It is more than going to a viewing center or sports bar like we do these days. My name is Benson Chukwueke, the publisher of the blog "CheerOnNigeria!" I am in my late 40s going to 50 years of age. Now click here and scroll down to see what a Surprise I'm about to show you


I feel such nostalgia and wondered how such electrifying moments have all evaporated in our football.. And I was talking to my friend Child Okoro, now lives in London. We usually go to the stadium together and sit side by side back in those days. How things have changed for the worst for Nigeria football.

True, there were few people that own satellite tv, so watching european leagues were not popular at all. There wasn't anything like viewing center, unless we as children, went to one richman's house, peeping through his window to watch Liverpool Vs Sherfield Wednesday, and that was usually not on Wednesday night. So, there wasn't much options, fans just had to go to the stadium to watch matches.

Another thing is this, the opportunity to transfer players from Nigeria to Europe were scarcely available  then, so no player was thinking of going to play abroad...we had all our stars here. Perhaps, that's what is missing. Let me share here 10 things every old skool fan like me is missing in Nigeria league today.


1. Old rivalry: IICC Shooting Stars Vs Enugu Rangers: This old rivalry between IICC Shooting Stars (Now 3sc) was something else. It was more than football. It is 'Battle of the Tribes' and such fixture get everybody charged up. The stadium got filled to the brim before 12 noon for a match that will kick off by 4pm...chanting, ranting, taunting of which team will carry the day.

You can't find such rivalry in any of the Nigeria league today. The enthusiasm of fans are long gone, the fire of the league have long been extinquished.

2. The Stars Are All There: Fans go to matches because of the very popular stars: Segun Odegbami, Muda lawal, Best Ogiedgbe, Emmanuel Okalla, Christian Chukwu, Ogidi Ibewuchi... Stephen Keshi, Henry Nwosu, Bright Omokato, Sunday Eboigbe, Peter Rufai, Rasheed Yekini...all the stars were here and the quality of the games are quite high.

Today, there are no real stars in Nigeria league again. Any player found performancing well, is transferred abroad the next day and this greatly lower the quality of the games in Nigeria league.


3. The Supporters: The Stadium atmosphare were always electrified by mommoth crowd that show up in most league games. Teams like IICC, Rangers, MightyJet, Stationery Stores had a lot of supporters following them.  Supporters of Stationery stores of lagos even follow the team to away games...over filling numbers of their traditional buses called ''Molue'

We hardly can see such support again. The stadiums are almost empty in most Nigerian league games these days.

4. Radio commentary: In those days, we go the stadium with our transitor radio set with us. To listen to commentaries from such professional as Ernest Okonkwo. His commentaries add so much pep to the game with the way he describes and narrate the game.

Commentors like Ernest Okonkwo who does indept research and pass accurate information that takes the game to cloud seven. We do not find such commentaries or dedicated commentors again. Most Nigeria leagues today does not even enjoy radio coverage.


5. Match of Week on NTA: Wednesday night was a time every fan get glued to his TV set to watch Match of the week on NTA networks. It was a time to broadcast highlights of games played during the  last  weekend and select one of games as match of the week, which NTA playback in full.

Match of the week became so popular that it was on television for over two decades with viewershio estimated average of 30million viewers every week.

There isn't much television coverage of the league these days and fans have lost interet completely.

6. Media Hypes and Town cryers): Those days we hear radio jingles advertising an upcoming league match and town cryers drving about town in their vehicles, hyping the match as well as persuading fans to attend. Nothing like this happen these days.

7. The fairy tales behinde football stars and games draw a lot of our interest in those days. How Teslim Thunder Balogun's shot piers through a player's stomach and breakthrough the net. How Emmanuel Okalla saw 100 balls coming to him and didn't know the one to catch at Liberty stadium in Ibadan. Those kind of stories draw interest to the league.

8. Talk of the town: Today, it is all about Premier League (PL) and UEFA Champions league. Newspapers, TV shows spend more time talking about European leagues than the domestic leagues. Fans focus are really diverted. It wasn't so in the past. It was all about Rangers, Enyimba, Abiola babies, Racker Rovers, Calabar Rovers.... they were the talk of the town.

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