IMPACT OF FOREIGN FOOTBALL ON THE NIGERIAN YOUTH
By Amaka Akachukwu
Football is the most popular game at least for now. Football like other sports is entertaining. The viewer ship and follower ship is very massive; and it cuts across to all social class across the world. The game has attracted so much money from all works of life. Wealthy individuals and corporate organizations invest in football these days. The likes of Abrahimovic and Chelsea, Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed and Manchester City, Glaciers family and Manchester United etc.
Football in most countries is now subject to dictates, whims and caprices of big business and financial capital. Football which is supposed to be for exercise-keeping and relaxation are now more to speculation and fanaticism.
Nigerian youths are not left out in the growth of this fanaticism and this strong passion for football displayed by youths has brought about hooliganism amongst them. When the two ‘big clubs’ play against each other, it’s quite unfortunate that youths fight and maim each other.
There is a steady rife as to which club is the biggest in Europe, and which player has the most skills and talents.
Take the UEFA Champions’ league final that was played between Chelsea and Manchester United on May 21 2008, many youths lost their lives while several others were badly wounded in different parts of the country as a result of clashes and celebration.
When there is an ‘El Classico’, conflicts are always abound to arise; many youths fight each other when they argue who is better of the two; Barcelona’s Lionel Messi or Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo? The streets are always littered with agitated youths shouting, arguing and fighting each other over a football match.
Youths now supports clubs like their lives depend on it. Their pride is not in any way depended on what they do and can achieve but what other people do. That explains why several youths die and several get injured across the country when big games are played between two big clubs in Europe. Life as a result of the crisis has no meaning for our teaming youths and in some cases, whatever they embark on is not given serious consideration.
Football like every other form of sport which is supposed to be a form of relaxation for workers, community people and students is gradually losing its cause. Reverse is now the case; people get more hypertensive watching football matches, people fight and injure each other when there is difference in opinions.
POSER: Can anything be done to manage the craze amongst the youth when it comes to football issues?