I recently asked my younger brother, an Arsenal fan, if he ever followed Nigeria’s football league.
He gave me a look. It was a look of disbelief and the unspoken question: ‘why are you stressing me???’
Maybe I shouldn’t have asked him that question shortly after Arsenal had lost a match.
But I understood the look. The English Premier League is an escape for a lot of Nigerian men-world class football, neat green pitches, the associated drama. The Nigerian league would be a reflection of Nigeria itself-disorganized administration, football pitches in a terrible state, floodlights not working in the stadium.
No one wants to be reminded about that.
We Nigerians love the ‘big 4’ English teams. The level of fanatism is disturbing. The brief time I spent in England was an eye opener in the sense that people there tended to support the team local to them. I worked in Coventry, and I would often hear my colleagues discussing Coventry City Football Club’s next matches. They weren’t that keen on the ‘big 4’ teams.
I’m actually not that concerned about the Nigerian Football League. I just want Arsenal to win some sort of trophy, for my brother’s sake.