With Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu

By OJ Ferrari

So it was Match Day 3 and Nigeria was already through to the next round so tensions were doused a bit, we were playing Madagascar so there wasn’t much to worry about.

I woke up feeling very relaxed. My initial hotel booking was to expire the next day, so it wasn’t surprising when I heard a knock on the door that early- the caretaker of the hostel wanted to know if I was extending my time there.

Since I was now sure we were going to be at Alexandria until at least July 7, it made sense to quickly extend which I eventually did.

I had also done the laundry the previous day so I didn’t have much work to do.

Off to the Stadium

With Malagasy supporters

Traffic expectedly intense and there was heavy security presence at the Stadium. Good thing I set off early, at about 12.30 pm.

After going through security checks, I found my way to the media center where journalists were already seated, chatting, working and some having something to eat- we were served snacks and drinks on match days.

There were also some new arrivals from Nigeria so they needed information.

Tobi Adepoju, Kayode Tijani, Busayo Olowokere and Frankie from Dream FM in Enugu had just come into the country so I was glad to offer them some help. You know na, as par bobo wey don dey town for some days.

With Ayo Olu Ibidapo

The match eventually started and within the first fifteen minutes, the Malagasy team had taken the lead, a huge shock.

We watched on and I could see the Eagles struggle. The match eventually ended in a 2-0 with the players, coaches and Nigerian journalists all feeling downbeat.

Guess who I ran into

While the post match meeting was on, I was at the mixed zone and I spoke with the Super Eagles captain, John Mikel Obi and Leon Balogun as well as a Malagasy player and two of their fans.

Mikel straight up admitted the team had not been playing well and they had to improve their game while Leon Balogun was certain his game wasn’t that bad, apart from two mistakes he made- one of them costing Nigeria a goal though.

But you would not believe who I ran into next.

The Executive Governor of Abia State, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu alongside his aides were at the Stadium. We exchanged pleasantries and then selfie time before he took off for Cairo alongside the President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Amaju Pinnick.

My favourite chikcen and chips joint

I boarded a taxi back to my usual Chicken and Chips joint where I watched Egypt beat DR Congo in their last group game before eventually going back to my hotel.

It was indeed a day.

 

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