By Kate Obodo
For the very first time in the history of international competitions, Nigerian fans staying at the Naija Fan Village will be given the rare opportunity of meeting and interacting with the countryâ€™s football stars and officials at this yearâ€™s World Cup in South Africa.
This much was disclosed to reporters by Ms Nkechi Obi, Managing Director/CEO of PSMS, sole managers of the Naija Fan Village during a public presentation for fan centre held in Ikeja, Lagos recently.
According to her, the 22 Super Eagles players as well as their coaching and medical staff have been scheduled to pay several visits to the Naija Fan Village in Durban, South Africa during the duration of the competition. During the visits, she said, the players are expected to sign autographs for the fans.
She expressed the belief that the playersâ€™ visits will not only afford them the opportunity to meet with their supporters, but that it will also go a long way in deepening the bond between the players and the fans.
She reiterated the need for a total support for the Super Eagles in their quest to put in a truly befitting performance at the World Cup, saying that this was one of the major objectives of setting up of the Fan Village.
Obi, a well known football commentator and analyst, further disclosed that one of the major reasons for locating the fan village in Durban was because it is the base of the Super Eagles training camp, and one of the centres of its first round matches.
Her words: â€œThe Naija Fan Village was conceived to boost support for the Super Eagles, while also giving Nigerians an unforgettable experience during the World Cup.â€
She pointed out that the centre which is located 15 minutes away from the cityâ€™s airport and stadium was open to Nigerian fans from Nigeria and South Africa, as well as other compatriots and football fans generally from around the globe.
Another reason for the choice of Durban, she said, was because of its warm climate, being the warmest place in South Africa during the countryâ€™s winter season, with temperatures of over 20 degrees.
In addition to these, she said, the KwaZulu Natal where Durban is situated, has adopted the Super Eagles as the team for Durban, and has pulled out all the stops to ensure that team has a good outing in the competition.
She enjoined all the Nigerian fans who intend to be at the World Cup this year to take advantage of the decent and pocket friendly accommodation provided in the village, and be a part of its unique hospitality, daily live World Cup matches, musical concerts, and 24 hour non-stop entertainment activities in the village.
Obi said that PSMS has already equipped the Naija Fan Village with facilities for the fansâ€™ comfort, including standard accommodation made up of 3,500 beds, cafeteria, swimming pool, gymnasium, and a 5,000 capacity outdoor viewing centre with screens to cater for VIP, Fan Club members and general visitors.