Ebonyi Football fans have hailed Sen. Orji Kalu for purchasing 5,000 tickets for fans to watch the decisive World Cup qualifying play-off between Nigeria and Ghana in Abuja on Tuesday.
Our correspondent, reports that the Super Eagles drew goalless with the Black Stars of Ghana in the first leg of the play-off on March 25 inside the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi, Ghana.
The fans who spoke to our correspondent on Monday called on other influential individuals to emulate the Senate Chief Whip due to the role the vociferous Ghanaian fans played for their team in the first leg.
Ukaegbu Kazi, a Retired Grade 1 referee hailed Kalu for the initiative, noting that it was his onerous contribution to ensure that Nigeria grabs the world cup ticket.
“This means that over 12 per cent of the 60,000 capacity stadium would be filled and if more individuals can replicate such, the stadium will be filled to the brim.
“The Sports Ministry has pledged to provide free buses to convey fans to the stadium and this among other interventions, will complement Kalu’s gesture,” he said.
Ephraim Obasi, defunct Ebonyi Angels Football Club of Abakaliki striker also hailed Kalu, noting that the fans support will play a critical role in determining the match’s outcome.
“The imposing crowd in Ghana propelled the Black Stars in Kumasi and this made them mount relentless pressure on the Eagles.
“The likes of Kalu should also ensure that the Ghanains are subjected to various forms of antics which the Eagles were subjected to, in Ghana,” he said.
Chief Dominic Nwibe, a business man and soccer buff also commended Kalu but urged relevant authorities not to betray the genuine intention behind such gesture.
“Issues of crowd control always resurface whenever such gestures are made to attract full supportership to the concerned national teams.
“Effective crowd control measures should be applied to ensure that the stadium accommodates its required capacity to avoid unpleasant occurrences such as the one which claimed the lives of Sam Okwaraji and other fans in 1989,” he said.
Miss Linda Beatrice, a student and sports enthusiast, however, cautioned against such magnitude of fans piling much pressure on the Eagles.
“The Eagles have not been impressive lately and the huge expectations from the fans might add to their problems.
“The fans should make their expected numbers count by being patriotic in their support despite the team’s performances in the match,” she said.