Ahead of the qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, the Nigeria Football Supporters Club has urged Nigerians to pray and support the national team to qualify for the Mundial in whatever capacity they could.
The National Chairman of the club, Rev. Samuel Ikpea, made the appeal at a news conference on Thursday in Lagos.
Ikpea said that though there were insinuations that “Black Magic’ might be used in the competition, it should not discourage Nigerians and make them lose focus on the long-term brotherly relationship between Nigeria and Ghana.
“We the executives and members of our great club, are aware that the play-off matches will take place in Cape Coast Ghana, and Abuja Nigeria on March 25 and March 29, 2022 respectively.
“We are all aware of how important the World Cup Qualifiers mean to both countries, and Africa football as a whole, we therefore, use this medium to call for calmness among fans before and after the matches.
“Although we have read several online publications which suggest that Black Magic may be used, this should not discourage Nigerians and make us lose focus on the long-term brotherly relationship between Nigeria and Ghana.’’
Based on the above, we request as follows: “That there is a need to remind all Nigeria football fans to come out in large numbers with their green and white colours to support our dear Super Eagles of Nigeria.
“That the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers cannot be left in the hands of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) alone, as all stakeholders in football need to rally round and show their support, by ensuring that football fans are mobilised to Ghana and Abuja to cheer our national team.
“We also call on all Christians and Muslims in the country, as well as religious leaders to rise up to this call and ensure that at least one hour prayer session is held for the three Fridays and Sundays left ahead of the crucial qualifiers.
“Furthermore, we charge Nigerians to join members of the NFSC for a seven-day fasting and prayer session, starting from Thursday, March 17, to Wednesday March 23, 2022 ahead of the match.
“The NFSC further appeals to corporate organisations and individuals who ordinarily will support the Super Eagles during tournaments with promises to also extend their magnanimity to the Nigeria Football Supporters Club as we plan toward mobilising a large number of Nigerian football fans to Ghana for the first-leg as well as Abuja for the second-leg.’’
The NFSC president said that the club had been in existence for over 65 years, and the practice was to help use football to promote the international relations which has always existed among nations.
“Hence, in the spirit of sportsmanship, we and our allies, the Ghana Football Supporters Club have arranged to play a friendly football match on March 22, 2022.
“It is a friendly match between the two great supporters clubs of these two Nations, we are by this match clamouring for peace even though Nigeria will qualify.
“The NFSC therefore, urges all supporter club members and fans whose origin can be traced to her to come back ahead of this auspicious match.
“Let us be united under one umbrella and give Nigeria a good representation at the Qatar World Cup qualifier.”