After 20 years of not hosting any competitive game involving the Super Eagles of Nigeria, Africa’s commercial hub, Lagos State, is set to host the three-time African champions once again on March 30, 2021, when they confront Lesotho in a 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier match.
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The game which will hold at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, Lagos state, will see the country’s national team aim to qualify for the AFCON with a game to spare.
The last time the Super Eagles played a competitive game in Lagos was in January 2001, a 1-0 AFCON qualifiers win against the Chipolopolos of Zambia. Coach Samson Siasia would lead the team to a 2-1 friendly win against Sierra Leone ten years later at the Teslim Balogun stadium.
Nigeria’s minister of sports and youth development, Mr Sunday Dare, has been keen on refurbishing the National Stadium in Lagos which is not in a good shape for football and other sports.
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More importantly, because of the COVID-19 safety protocols, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has stated that the game against Lesotho will see a limited number of fans.
Reacting to the news that Nigeria will play against Lesotho in Lagos, the Chairman of the Lagos State Sports Commission, Sola Aiyepeku, noted that it is all part of plans aimed at making Lagos the base of Super Eagles again.
‘This city is excited to host the country’s first competitive fixture in 20 years in a place where the team rarely lose. Everything is geared towards making Lagos the home base again, because there’s a presence that this place has and demand that the fans have towards the opposition that puts them in fear. We want the Nigeria fear factor that this city has to return and put that in the hearts and souls of teams that come here’
On Friday, Super Eagles head coach, Gernot Rohr, was at the Teslim Balogun Stadium for an on the spot assessment of facilities ahead of the AFCON qualifiers clash against Lesotho.
This is indeed a welcome development for football-loving Lagosians, who will be experiencing, once again, what it feels like to watch the super eagles play and not just the stories told.
Featured Image Source: PM News
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