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African Support

Adolphus Opara/Twenty Ten

Location: Lagos, Nigeria

Evidence of interest in the 2010 FIFA World Cup in Nigeria.

During the 2010 FIFA World Cup, groups of people throughout Lagos were found huddled around radios and televisions for the matches. Every so often a cheer rose from a street corner, or a heated debate was sparked between shop keepers. When the national team was playing, supporters found any available spot to watch the games, be it a church, a pavement viewing booth or a community centre.

Billboards around the bustling capital city announced the soccer tournament taking place on African soil for the first time in history. Motorists and pedestrians travelling in and around the city were bombarded at every turn by advertisements for the football showcase.

However, the attitude of many Nigerians towards the World Cup was reserved. The squad that was selected to represent Nigeria in South Africa was a hotly contested issue among football supporters, and the poor preparation in the run up to the tournament cast a shadow over the team’s performance. The grumbling started when the team only narrowly qualified by beating Kenya 3-2 and fans doubted The Eagles’ ability to do well in the tournament. Despite this, many football lovers loyally followed the World Cup matches, even when their country crashed out of the tournament.

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