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The other side of Egypt

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The disunity among the several factions of the Nigerian Supporters Club has diluted its effectiveness.

Patient drivers, ‘rough’ pedestrians
It will be difficult for a Nigerian driver, particularly a danfo bus operator in Lagos, to move a cab around major cities in Egypt. The reason is that the people don’t see any moving object as dangerous to their lives.

Unlike the situation back home in Nigeria, where a passenger has to spend some minutes waiting for vehicles to pass before crossing a major road, the reverse is the case here in Alexandria.

The people always feel it is their right for a vehicle to stop for them to cross a road, no matter the speed of the vehicle.

On several occasions, I had to scream at the top of my voice, telling the drivers to be careful so as not to hit the impatient pedestrians.

One other funny thing about the drivers is that they operate without their headlights on at night. They only flash them on only periodically.

When approaching a car coming the opposite way, they wait until the last few seconds, and then each driver turns his lights on hi-beam until they pass.

One football fan from Nigeria, Michael Dimeji, who is in Alexandria to support the Super Eagles, told The Guardian that driving in Egypt is like driving in the jungle. “It will be a pity for these Egyptians if they did this in Lagos and other cities in Nigeria because a danfo driver will crush them in dozens on daily bases,” Dimeji stated.

Many supporters clubs, few drums, trumpets for Super Eagles
There is urgent need for stakeholders in Nigerian football to wade into the unresolved crisis in the supporters club. Shortly after Brazil 2014 World Cup, members of the supporters club had been operating in different ways. First, the body split into two groups. While Rev Samson Ikpea led the group supported by Dr. Rafiu Ladipo, Vincent Okumagba piloted the affairs in the other group.

Now, things are getting messier by the day, and the once adored Nigerian Supporters Club is fast becoming a laughing stock at competition venues.

Two more groups have emerged, bringing the number to four. And here in Egypt, the four group of Nigerian supporters clubs operate differently, sing different songs and beat all manner of drums to confuse even the players on the pitch.

While one group is shouting, ‘Eagles give us goals, another group is singing: ‘Nigeria teach Madagascar soccer.’  They are operating like primary school children, and observers are worried.

It was learnt that the division in the group prevented the supporters from securing enough visas from the Egyptian embassy in Abuja for the trip to this competition. They presented all manner of visa applications with signatories from four different chairmen.

A more organized Malagasy supporters, waving their flags, banners and flashing the mobile phone torchlight outwitted the Nigerian supporters at the Alexandria stadium on Sunday, where the Super Eagles suffered a 0-2 defeat to surrender their leadership in the group.


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