“I know that millions of Nigerian soccer fans have abandoned the indigenous league for European football. I can understand their hunger for the English Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga, Serie A and many more. But I believe that just one club can do the magic and bring back the fans to the stadia across the country, that club is Stationery Stores”.
The above was the declaration of former Flying Eagles star, Moses Adukwu, while speaking about poor followership of the country’s football, especially at this time when Nigeria is marking her 53rd Independence anniversary. Adukwu, who is currently the Chief Coach of Bayelsa Queens Football Club of Yenagoa, said the low attendance of spectators at league venues in Nigeria, be addressed immediately by the authorities, and he wants the Lagos State government to play a crucial role by bringing back the Super Stores.
He said Nigerian football deserves more than it is getting from the spectators, saying their over reliance on foreign leagues was a result of bad planning cum organisation of the football competitions, which discourage football enthusiasts from coming to the stadium.
The former Nigeria ’99 FIFA U-20 World Cup star would not blame Nigerian fans who prefer to pay to watch foreign league games on pay-per view television services than going to watch Nigeria League matches for free because; “The indigenous league is no longer attractive like his playing days”.
“We are expected to be celebrating the development of our football now that Nigeria is 53 as an Independent nation. But our football is not there yet. Our administrators need to do more work in terms of organisation, officiating and packaging of the game as a whole.
Having said that, I’m also making this special appeal to the government of Lagos State, to meet with everyone connected with Stores FC and settle their problems immediately. I believe in the spirit of Super Stores, the club can entice the fans back to the stadia. This is the time we need Super Stores in our country’s football because every Nigerian loves the Adebajo Babes and will like to see them play once again…” Adukwu, who also played for Nigeria’s U-23 Dream Team added.
Adukwu, who played for the Lagos darling team; Stores FC and Nitel Football Club of Lagos, told eyeonthesports.com that the involvement of Lagos State in Nigeria’s Federation Cup was a testimony that the state holds the panacea to football followership in the country.
Siad he; “I was in Lagos to watch this year’s Federation Cup finals between Enyimba and Warri Wolves FC, and I was happy to see thousands of spectators at the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Surulere.
“I think the game attracted such huge crowd because Lagos put in the right mechanism in place to host befitting finals in both the male and female categories. I hope other states would emulate Lagos and woo back the fans to their various stadia for the betterment of our football”.
The management of Flaming, as Stationery Stores were known by their admirers, had the tradition of assembling football rookies that featured in both the domestic league and international football tournaments.
The Lagos darling team was disbanded following unresolved issues many years ago, but efforts are being made by some concerned loyalists of the club to bring back ‘Store’s flames’.