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AFCON 2023: Supporters club to mobilise 700 fans for Super Eagles in Cote d’Ivoire

Samuel Ikpea, the national chairman of the Nigeria Football Supporters Club (NFSC), says the NFSC will mobilise no less than 700 fans to support the Super Eagles in Cote d’Ivoire.

Super Eagles will represent Nigeria at the 34th edition of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cote d’Ivoire.

The month-long tournament will kick off on January 13 and end on February 11ruary.

Ikpea told journalists that the NFSC was leaving no stone unturned to ensure that the Super Eagles got all the much-needed support from the fans during the tournament.

“We have a chapter in Cote d’Ivoire. Of course, you are aware that the NFSC has offices and chapters across the world, and Cote d’Ivoire is apparently one of them.

“We have a fan base of over 300 in Abidjan right now, while Alh. Mudashiru will be leading over 50 fans from our Ghana chapter.

“Alh. Ibrahim Bashiru is leading 20 fans from our Niger chapter, while Mr Osita is coming with 15 fans from our South African chapter.

“Also, Togo will be joining us at Aflo with 30 fans, alongside the 300 fans we will be leaving with from Nigeria,” he said.

The NFSC boss said all hands were on deck to ensure victory for the Eagles in all their matches.

“I want to assure Nigerians that when the Super Eagles take on the host nation, we will not be playing 11 against 12. Rather, it’s going to be 12 against 12.

“This is because the NFSC, as usual, has often made up the 12th player, which will be storming Cote d’Ivoire with about 300 fans from Nigeria,” he said.

Ikpea said the number would add to the club’s fan base in Cote d’Ivoire.

“So that at the end of the day, the Super Eagles won’t be suffering what we suffered at the World Cup in Russia when we played against Argentina.

“We are doing everything humanly possible to see if we can surpass that figure of 300 fans,” he said.

He called on corporate bodies, private organisations, and philanthropists to help sponsor the NFSC in its bid to ensure full support for the Super Eagles.

Ikpea lamented the difficult situation the NFSC usually faces to ensure they support the team.

“It has been painful and a sad one for the NFSC, but we have always played our role as the 12th player on the pitch each time the Super Eagles play,” he said.

He said the most painful part is that the average return ticket for one person to Cote d’Ivoire is about N 800,000.

Ikpea said the Super Eagles always do better when the NFSC gives them the much-needed backing from the stands.

“Nigerians should be hopeful, and the financial backing should be given to the NFSC to help us travel in large numbers to Cote d’Ivoire to raise the morale of these players,” he added.

Twenty-four teams were qualified to play in the final tournament, including Ivory Coast, who qualified automatically as hosts.