NIGERIA/ETHIOPIA CLASH: NFF MAY THROW OPEN STADIUM
The nation's soccer governing body, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) may throw open the National Stadium, Abuja to give the Super Eagles total support in the March 27 Nations Cup qualifier against Ethiopia.
The federation's first vice president, Chief Mike Umeh, in an exclusive chat with Daily Sunsports said since Abuja had been chosen as the match venue, all hands must be on deck to ensure the Samson Siasia-tutored side gets enough support from the stands.
'Having settled for Abuja as the match venue for the match against Ethiopia, we are going to ensure that Abuja fans are mobilized to come to the stadium. We are going to embark on mass mobilization campaign.
In fact, we won't even mind throwing open the arena or making the gate fee a peanut if that is what it will take to get the fans to support the Eagles.
The fans are the 12th player on the field for a home side and we want the fans to come out in their large numbers to cheer Nigeria to victory,' Umeh said.
The former Green Eagles team manager agreed that Lagos would have been more like it in terms of support, but was quick to state that the NFF board had to respect the views of the players and Coach Siasia.
'The players say the Teslim Balogun turf is too hard for them and Siasia himself insisted on the match being played in Abuja.
We just have to allow them have their way since all we want is good result. We don't want any excuse because the match is a crucial one. We are condemned to win if we must qualify for Gabon/ Equatorial Guinea 2012.'
The Nigeria, Ethiopia clash is billed to kick off by 7 pm under flood light at the Abuja National Stadium.
Nigeria is second on group B table behind the leader, Guinea. Winner of the group will automatically qualify for the Nations Cup.