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NFF to facilitate fans’ trip to Russia 2018 World Cup


Nigeria’s Kelechi Iheanacho (14) celebrates with teammates after scoring the team’s first goal during an international friendly football match between Argentina and Nigeria in Krasnodar on November 14, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Mladen ANTONOV

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) plans to help as many fans as possible to cheer the Super Eagles in Russia during the 2018 World Cup, an official of the team has revealed.

Followers of the senior national team have been worried by the unresolved leadership crisis that has dogged the Nigeria Football Supporters Club, which made it impossible for the fans to travel with the team in most of the away games during the qualifying series.

Now, the NFF wants to ensure that the Super Eagles did not lack support in Russia hence it has started talking with some sponsors to help as many Nigerians as possible to be in Russia during the World Cup.


Speaking in a Classic FM programme, Discourse with Jimi Disu yesterday, Super Eagles’ Media Officer, Toyin Ibitoye disclosed that the football federation was mindful of the situation with the Supporters Club, which is a private body, hence the plans to ensure that the crisis did not affect the Eagles in Russia.

Ibitoye told The Guardian later yesterday that “the details of the fans engagement programme will be unveiled by the NFF in the next few days…. the NFF and its sponsors want to take 100 fans to Russia.”

The Nigerian Football Supporters Club has split into two factions with Rev. Ikpea and Vincent Okumagba laying claims to the leadership of the body.

The Ikpea faction is backed by majority of the members, including Rafiu Ladipo, who is the president general of the body, while Okumagba is supported by the younger elements, who want change in leadership from Ladipo’s over 20 years of controlling the body.

The club could not travel with the Super Eagles to Ndola where Zambia hosted Nigeria in the opening game of the Russia 2018 World Cup qualifiers, while the Ikpea-led group arrived in Cameroun by road on match day when the Indomitable Lions hosted the Super Eagles in Yaoundé.The Guardian learnt that ‘elders’ of the body have been meeting to find lasting solution to the Supporters Club’s leadership crisis.

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