After 10 years, the Nigerian football team will grace the stadium of Teslim Balogun in Lagos for the final match in the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers. The Super Eagles will take on Lesotho in a match that will determine their place in the group rankings.
To ensure that people remain safe during the match, the Nigeria Football Federation said they would only allow a limited crowd.
Moreover, the number of viewers will be determined by the protocols announced by the Confederation of African Football.
This match will be a special one for the Nigerian team as it will be their first time to play in Lagos again after a decade.
Sola Aiyepeku, the Lagos State Sports Commissioner, said that the city is excited to welcome the team and host the match.
‘This city is excited to host the country’s first competitive fixture in 20 years in a place where the team rarely loses’, Aiyepeku stated.
He also said that one of their main goals for this year is to make the city of Lagos the home base again for future football matches.
The Teslim Balogun Stadium Lagos is currently going through the final touches. However, the commissioner said that they’re doing everything they can to ensure that it will be ready just in time for the anticipated match between Lesotho and the Super Eagles. Many punters are also excited about this for sports betting in Nigeria.
‘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’, Aiyepeku declared.
The sports commissioner also said that this would be the beginning of something good for the city because it will dispel the fear of teams who will come to play in Lagos.
‘We want the Nigerian fear factor that this city has to return and put that in the hearts and souls of teams that come here’, he remarked.
On the other hand, city officials are also preparing for the event by following stringent protocols that will decrease the chances of COVID-19 transmission in the national stadium.
NFF vice president and Lagos FA Seyi Akinwunmi said that it’s not an ideal time to host a match, but the virus is always present, which will probably reduce the number of attendees.
‘It’s an unprecedented time to host the national team, but wherever you go, there is still the coronavirus, so it will definitely dampen probably the number of people’, he said.
Moreover, Akinwunmi assured people that the city is more than capable of handling the virus despite the logistics issues faced by the city. He said that Lagos proved to be more resilient during the pandemic than the other states.
He also added that the city is prepared for any issues that may arise during the match because of their hotels, hospitals, and ambulances.
‘It’s been a challenging year for the world in terms of football, but the country’s most famous state is delighted to welcome the Eagles back home where they’ve enjoyed a remarkable success’, Akinwumi continued.
For sports betting in Nigeria, the match between Lesotho and the Super Eagles is set to take place on March 30, 2021, once the stadium has been refurbished.