Nigerian football fans are scrambling to secure tickets for the last group D match between Nigeria and Argentina at the ongoing 2018 World Cup in Russia.
An official of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) who spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on condition of anonymity said more fans may not be able to watch the match due to scarcity of tickets.
“I must tell you that some Nigerian fans may not be able to watch the match live. We are having difficulty in getting the match tickets for the Nigeria/Argentina match.
“Majority of Nigerians here with Fan ID just bought one or two match tickets, when they were making arrangements for the World Cup.
“But Nigeria/Argentina match is a high profile game, so the NFF is having difficulty in securing tickets for the match,” the source said.
Adegoke Aina, a Nigerian who resides in Northern Ireland, told NAN that he was able to get the match tickets at a high cost.
“I was able to get the ticket at a very high price, I got my ticket for 420 dollars, a ticket that was supposed to be 220 dollars.
“But this is one match I can’t afford to miss at any cost,” Aina said.
Another fan, Andrew Johnson, said that it would be too disappointing if he did not watch the match.
“I have been trying for days to secure a match ticket for the Nigeria/Argentina match.
“I had contacted people in NFF; they are still unable to get a ticket for me. I was told I could get one at a high cost through unofficial rate, that is the one I’m hoping to get,” he said.
Meanwhile, there has been an influx of Nigerians into St. Petersburg to watch the Nigeria versus Argentina match.
A large contingent of Nigerian and Argentine fans have continued to arrive through the Pulkovo Airport and other entry points into the historic city.
Some Nigerians fans have resorted to travelling by rail due to non-availability of flights from Moscow in a journey that stretches into 20 hours instead of the two hour-flight.
Getting hotel booking has turned into a nightmare for many football fans.
The city is currently stretched to its limits because of the influx of football loving Nigerians and Argentines, especially those resident in Russia and beyond.
Security at the Park Inn hotel was strengthened to prevent a face-off between Nigerian and Argentine fans.
The hotel currently has a large contingent of fans from both countries.
The Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, is expected to lead other Nigerians in Russia to cheer the Super Eagles at the match venue.
According to a statement by the NFF, Saraki will be joined by Amb. Steve Ugbah, and Youth and Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung (who returned to Saint Petersburg on Monday).
Also expected are the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Olusade Adesola and others on the government delegation.