A businessman, Aka Udofia, has offered the Super Eagles $20,000 for each goal they score in Monday’s 2018 FIFA World Cup second-leg qualifying cracker against Cameroon.
In a statement from the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, the young businessman from Akwa Ibom made the promise as he briefly greeted players and officials inside the chartered Arik Bombadier CRJ 1000 aircraft just before take-off at the Ibom International Airport, Uyo on Sunday afternoon.
He said “I am a good friend of the NFF President, Mr Amaju Pinnick, and I am happy that I am here in time to see you guys before take-off for Yaounde.
“I watched the game against the Cameroonians here in Uyo on Friday and I am sure you have the ability to conquer them again in their own territory.”
Udofia, Chief Executive Officer of Desicorn Company, announced to the applause of players and officials that “I promise to reward you with $20,000 for every goal scored in Yaounde.”
On board the chartered ARIK Bombadier Jet CRJ 1000 that flew from Uyo and arrived in Yaounde after 55 minutes were 23 players and technical and backroom staff.
Also were Pinnick, NFF vice presidents Seyi Akinwunmi and Shehu Dikko, NFF Executive Committee members Chris Green, Mohammed Alkali, Chidi Ofo Okenwa and Aisha Falode.
At least 20 people Completesportsnigeria.com has spoken with here in Yaounde have said they will not bother turning up for Monday’s World Cup qualifier between the Indomitable Lions and the Super Eagles.
Enthusiasm for the match was quite high from Tuesday night with most of the fans predicting home and away wins for their darling Lions.
But since Friday when the Super Eagles made mincemeat of the Lions with a 4-0 win in Uyo, the boastful fans have been stunned into silence.
Now they are saying they will not come to the Stade Omnisport Ahmadou Ahidjo to cheer their team.
“I love my country very much but no, I’m not going to the stadium,” Arlette, a young lady who works at a supermarket in the Tsinga Quarters, said.
“I’m not interested anymore. Somebody wanted to buy me a ticket, but I said I’m not going anymore. He has also changed his mind.”
Another Yaounde resident, Ameer, one of the receptionists at the Phenix Hotel in Titi Garage, close to the stadium, will not be interested in what is going on about 500 metres away from his work place.
“What’s the point of watching?” asks the bi-lingual Ameer in decent English. “Even if the Lions beat your team on Monday, it makes no difference.
“I couldn’t believe my eyes on Friday, what was wrong with our team? It’s a good thing many people have not bought tickets.”
Emmanuel, the owner of the small bar around Mobil Essos, still found it hard to stomach the defeat 24 hours after.
“How can African champions play like that? So, we won’t be going to Mundial,” the emotional Emmanuel said, his eyes welling up.
“I had so much belief in this team. Remember I told you we’d beat the Super Eagles in Uyo. Now, I don’t care about the result here. I’m not watching. I’ll be supporting Nigeria in the World Cup, your team has already qualified.”
Fanny, a shop attendant at a mobile phone shop at the Casino area of the city centre, simply said she had better things to do than waste time watching the Lions lose again.
“If they lost 4-0 in Nigeria, what makes you think they won’t lose here?” she asked, not expecting an answer.
Almost all the Cameroonians who spoke with newsmen, Saturday said they would not be watching, most of them saying they changed their plans after the first leg.
But two young men said they must watch the Lions anytime they play and want some sort of revenge for the humiliation in Uyo.
“The Lions should at least win here to stop Nigeria from further boasting. Give us some revenge by winning here. I must go to the stadium on Monday,” Bonaventure, who sells socks in the Central Market, said.
Figures for ticket sales have not been released but signs are that the stadium might not be full to its 45,000 capacity on Monday.
Tickets go for from 1,000 FCFA (about N650) to 30,000 FCFA (about N19,500).