When about 8,000 fans are allowed into the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Lagos today, it will be about 10 years since the Super Eagles played in Nigeria’s commercial capital city of over 20 million people.
Lagos was for many years the home of the country’s team and it was in this bustling port city that Nigeria celebrated some of their biggest achievements – Gold medal at the 1973 All Africa Games, a first-ever AFCON in 1980 and qualification for their debut World Cup in 1994.
However, the poor state of the National Stadium pitch and sponsorships mainly by the oil-rich states of Akwa Ibom, Rivers and Delta meant the Super Eagles have moved home across the country.
The Lagos fans are so passionate about good football, they pack stadiums and will boo the home team if the other team are playing better.
“It is exciting that the Super Eagles are going back to their traditional home,” said FCT Football Association chairman, Adam Mouktar Mohammed.
“Lagos and Abuja are the two true homes of the national team.”
Ahmed Musa is the only player on the current Super Eagles squad to have played for the country in Lagos.
He said it was an experience to savour. “I played in Lagos 10 years ago (friendly vs Sierra Leone in 2011). It was a full stadium with the fans cheering you on,” he recalled.