By Fidelis Ebu
Just unlike what is happening in other centres where teams are being treated to the best of hospitality by the host states and their governors, those playing in the Federal Capital Territory, including the Golden Eaglets are being snubbed by the FCT Minister, Senator Adamu Aliero.
And fans are reluctant to watch matches in Abuja even with a late intervention that saw FCT officials buying tickets to give to fans, still their response was not encouraging.
The minister, whose two term tenure as the Kebbi State governor did not encourage the stateâ€™s athletesâ€™ participation in any national championships including the National Sports Festival; an outright indication of his indifference to sports, did not honour the Eaglets by attending the opening ceremony neither did he watch any of the two matches played on the first day when the Nigerian kids hosted their German counterparts.
While officials and players of various teams are showering praises on the governors and people of their various centres, those in Abuja have not been given an opportunity to feel, if any, the hospitality of the Federal Capital Territory under the leadership of the former two term governor of Kebbi State.Â Kaduna, Enugu, Lagos, Calabar and Ijebu-Ode are being tipped to emerge the hospitable centres with Kaduna leading the pack as the governor, Namadi Sambo personally received the teams and officials playing at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium.
Fans are not left out in the praise singing for these governors for leading the way even before the games.
The Enugu centre is a different case as the governor paid for the first 10,000 fans to enter the stadium; a development that saw the Nnamdi Azikiwe stadium recording capacity crowdÂ Sunday in the matches between Turkey and Burkina Faso as well as the Costa Rica versus New Zealand. Kano was superb.
FIFA vice president, Jack Warner has however lamented the poor attendance at the opening ceremony describing it as â€˜discouragingâ€™ for a championship of this magnitude. It did not significantly improve yesterday.