The chief of one of Nigeria’s biggest football websites has slammed the current treatment of soccer fans by the authorities and sponsors and plans to help them join together and organise themselves online.
Chike Maduegbuna, Chief Executive of FCO Limited, owners of FansConnectOnline.com, Afrinolly and Naija Places, told HumanIPO in an exclusive interview in Lagos their new platform, launched for the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), also gives supporters a forum to brainstorm and discuss how to change the situation.
According to him, fans are the ones that sacrifice more, take risks and incur more costs while other stakeholders are well remunerated.
“Of all the category of stakeholders in football, the only group you can say that don’t get anything are the fans. If anything, they are the ones that spend, they are the ones that fight. It’s like they are at the receiving end and if they have to go to the stadium, they pay for their tickets and others.
“But every other stakeholder is actually getting something. The players and managers are getting paid, the club owners and staff members are getting paid, and the club itself is generating revenue.”
On why this is so, he said it hinges on the inability of fans to be organised in order to attract the corporate bodies which he said are the ones funding football.
“If there is a stadium and they come and make adverts, it is the corporate brands. If the TV is airing the matches, there is a corporate brand sponsoring it. So you’ll find out that the corporate brands are more or less the ones that finance football,” he said.
On how to improve this, especially as it affects the nations cup (AFCON) which will soon get underway in South Africa, he advised fans to organise themselves.
On the measures his outfit is taking to address this, he said they have partnered with Wampco Friesland Campina, to launch PeakSoccerMoments.com where sports fans in Nigeria can brainstorm, predict and win fabulous prizes during the continental championship.