This feature basically highlight what part of the divide you belong to either as a supporter or fan of your favourite NPFL clubs, and how you can develop your interest in Nigerian football clubs.
Without fear of contradiction, football is the most followed sports globally. From Africa, Europe to Asia and other parts of the world. According to recent finding, football is followed by over 3.2 billion people while Cricket with about 2.5 billion is next ahead of Hockey which has around 2 billion. (Topendsports.com)
People have favourite sports, and the support comes with sheer passion and love for the particular sport. Despite the similarities, it important to state mention that there are differences in being a supporter or a fan.
Fans and supporters register their interest in following a desired club(s) for different reasons. First we must highlight or define who a football fan is and distinguishing difference from a supporter.
A school of thought says a “football fan” by cultural definition, is a generic sports follower who doesn’t really follow a particular club or league, but takes interest at times when major competitions or games like the World Cup finals, Champions League finals, and Cup finals occur. While a A person who is actively interested in and wishes success for a particular football team is a football supporter. Does this stir a question as per where you belong?
In most part of the world, individuals tend to support football clubs from their locality. These individuals know the club, understand it’s philosophy and why things are done for way they are done. In England for instance, some supporters of Arsenal have remained loyal in spite of the level of success recorded in recent times. These supporters enjoy the glory days and also share in the trying period. Many of them are duly registered with the club officially and support the team with their drop of cash by buying match tickets and souvenirs.
In light of this, we shall highlight how Nigerians can be a part of a club and remain loyal. Twenty clubs will be playing in the Nigeria professional football league (NPFL) this season. By geographical zones, they hail from different parts of the country from the South, East, West and Northern region. However, a few questions arises as per how to identify with a particular club if you have one in mind. How you can go about this is by visiting the home ground of your desired team, make enquiry either online or at the office of the secretary as obtained to confirm if the club has a procedure to becoming an accredited supporter. The next step is to endeavor to buy tickets to catch live games of the club at the stadium. What you experience at the stadium is quite different from what you feel while watching behind you television scree from the comfort of your home.
Can you afford to buy the club jersey at a reasonable fee for which it is sold? The clubs in Nigeria have up their game in terms of kits. Some are branded by international companies while other go for what the management can afford. You can get the jerseys for prices between N2000 to N3000 only depending on the current pricing.
These clubs also have several products like armbands, scarfs or muffler, face caps, head warmer foe those who so desire. It is also public knowledge that some clubs produce consumables like breads and packaged water.
Well, we can also reward your passion for you club by placing bets on the team. Betting is official in Nigeria. But here is a piece of advise, you have to bet with what you can afford to lose, that is a golden rule.
Perhaps you are yet to join the flight in motion piloted by the League Management Company, the body administering the NPFL, you can develop your interest in the league by beginning to watch live TV games on the Nigerian Television Authority. You sure would be convince that the league has grown beyond what it used to be and it is headed for greater level of development.