It is really fascinating how many people react to football matches even when it is viewed on a screen. The beautiful rivalry on display when Real Madrid takes on Barcelona or when Chelsea takes on Arsenal in a London derby, or when Shooting Stars of Ibadan takes on kano Pillars in an NPFL match, is in simple terms “exhilarating”. A popular Nigerian proverb properly puts it as
What you are looking for in Sokoto, is right in your sokoto (shokoto).
It loosely translates to “things that you seek in a far-away land is just beneath your nose”. I wonder why we fail to visit local stadia to watch our own football matches (Nigerian Professional Football League). The most daunting question will be “Why should I watch an NPFL match?”
Watching a football match is another credible option for a fun weekend. Instead of relaxing at the beach, seeing a movie at the cinema or just sleeping (too cliche); you could just locate the closest stadium and enjoy a good dosage of football artistry. Most stadia in Nigeria charge as low as 200 Naira for popular seats and 500 Naira for VIP seats. Depending on your location, the fare involved in getting to any stadium might differ.
Getting to match venues early guarantees that you enjoy a variety of seating options. You should seat close to the supporters’ club (preferably that of the team you support) because the gyration et al makes it a party.Endeavour to pick a team and support them throughout the whole duration of 90 minutes but don’t lose sight of the fact that it is always about good football. The boos, cymbal clangs, noisy horns of the vuvuzelas leave you on the edge since football can most times appeal to certain sentiments.
Even when seeing Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi in person is an uphill task, football artistry is never lacking at these stadia. The misses, tackles, saves and other funny moments, is enough to relieve stress from a week’s work.
Take many pictures and never forget to be watchful of your surrounding. Stay with fans of your team, so that when you are winning you are certain that you are with the right set. You do not want to be with fans of the opposing team when your team is losing, they would taunt goodwill and common sense out of you.
At an NPFL game, always try to fit in and not stand-out. Too much attention doesn’t help at a stadium except you are being paid to put up a show, then your security is more guaranteed.
I got a chance to experience the match between MFM Football Club of Lagos and Rangers International of Enugu recently and I loved the “risk” completely. It is certainly something I am willing to do again. If you are stuck at home with like 2,000 Naira and contemplating where you would like to be, I advise you get a few friends and head to the closest stadium. Trust this verdict: the level of play exhibited by NPFL teams such as; Enyimba, MFM FC, Kano Pillars, Heartland, Akwa United et al, dwarfs that of most of their foreign counterparts. I would personally ditch a Manchester United vs Manchester City duel, to see Enyimba of Aba take on Rangers International of Enugu. I might even place bets.
You could also check out “Five reasons why we love to watch NPFL matches“