Nigerian athletes are training for a new sport that is quickly gaining momentum in Africa’s biggest economy.
American Football, a sport usually played miles away is gaining footing in the West African country.
“I played basketball initially but we had this camp, that is Ejike Ugbaja’s camp and I had the attributes of playing American Football because I could throw the ball and also play well so I was told to try out, then I tried out and here we are still playing American Football,” said player Adesina Pelumi.
Recently, two teams battled it out in the field. The Lagos Marines and Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Titans had cheerleaders dance as is the norm with the American sport. Fans from across the state waved banners and cheered in support of their local teams.
As soon as the game took off, turn overs and touchdowns became the agenda.
“This is the first time this game is played in Nigeria, you understand, this is the first and we got here we least expected people will give us this support down here, we actually impressed even though we have been defeated but I believe this is a lesson. We are coming back here, we are coming back, this is the beginning of American Football in Nigeria,” said player Paul Shekarau.
The Lagos Marines won the match 18 – 0, stunning the more experienced ABU Titans who have been training for several years holding in-house matches.
The players hope that the sport will catch up soon just like the likes of soccer.
Photo Credit: Lagos Marines