The beautiful city of Calabar, considered to be every tourist’s dream destination and a city that has warmly accommodated the national teams in times past, has stood solidly behind the Super Eagles despite the team’s elimination from the Russia 2018 World Cup.
Calabar people, known to be very passionate about football and vocal in their support of the national team, backed the national team on Tuesday as they embarked on a quest to clinch a second round spot at the expense of Argentina.
Since many could not make the long and expensive trip to far away Russia to watch the Nigerian team play live at the Mundial, fan parks have been set up across major cities in the country and Calabar was not left out. And it is easy to see why, the fans are just so in love with the national team. The fan parks which have been dubbed “This Is Naija” fan parks were again opened to the Calabar fans for the all-important game between Nigeria and Argentina.
And the fans trooped in in their numbers despite the heavy rain which fell for the best part of the day.
While the players were out on the pitch trying to get a favourable result, the Calabar fans were at the same time cheering the team on with every kick of the ball by the Nigerian players drawing applause and shouts of joy from the impressive crowd at the fan park
The Eagles were very unlucky to have conceded an early goal to Lionel Messi but that did not stop the Calabar fans from cheering, if anything it gave them more vigor.
Not too long after the restart, the fans were overjoyed even before Victor Moses buried the penalty awarded for a foul on Leon Balogun.
As the Chelsea wing-back effortlessly rolled the ball into the back of the net, the Calabar fans at the fan park made so much noise in jubilation, the shouts could be compared to the sound of an earthquake. Even the Commissioner of Finance for Cross Rivers State Asuquo Ekpenyong who was at the live viewing could not hold back his pleasure as he danced and celebrated with the fans present.
The Argentines however got the winning goal in the 86th minute much to the displeasure of the Calabar fans who were left heartbroken just like every Nigerian on Tuesday night was but they kept on cheering right till the very end.
One of the fans present said: “I am happy with the team’s performance despite the loss, they played very well.
Another fan, Ekong said: “Watch out for this team, it’s a team for the future, they are young and gave a good account of themselves today. I am proud of them.”
Even though the national team has been eliminated from the tournament, This Is Naija fan parks are still open to football lovers across the country as well as on mobile through the Kwese iflix app. Catch all the actions of the Mundial at the fan parks and on the app because This Is Naija Where Football Lives, no defeat can stop the love and passion for the beautiful game.