World cup: Why Abuja fans prefer viewing centers


Football fans in New Nyanya and Mararaba in Nasarawa on Thursday gave reasons for opting to watch the 2018 World Cup in viewing centres, rather than their homes.

Respondents, listed fan solidarity, argumentative atmosphere and relaxation as reasons why they preferred viewing centres.

Some others stated that they wanted to avoid any form of distractions, unnecessary conflicts that may arise from watching at home, adding that they want to share football passion with other fans.

Despite the presence of satellite companies offering interesting home viewing options,  patronage of viewing centres is likely to increase.


Respondents also stated that it is more economical to watch matches at 14 cents (about 50 Naira) per match in viewing centres, against buying a satellite dish and subscribing to bouquets.

Idris Mohammed, a civil servant, said that he would prefer to watch the World Cup in the company of other fans (especially men), hence he goes to a viewing centre.

“Watching football at viewing centre is better than staying at home to watch it, because analysis can be very charge and interesting, and in doing that with other fans, you become happy.

“More importantly, the epileptic power supply in our country is another reason why men leave their houses to viewing centres, especially when you do not have fuel to power your generator.

“It is more interesting watching with other fans, where you can be relieved from anything that is bothering you,” he said.

Similarly, Chuks Obi, a businessman, said that having different perspectives of people on a football match makes the game more interesting and enjoyable.

Obi also said that he likes patronising viewing centres because sometimes, fans share their opinions about the game, unlike at home when his wife and children have nothing to contribute except distractions.

“Comment makes a match more interesting and lively and this can be gotten in viewing centres and not at home.

“At the viewing centres you are accosted with a wide range of views which will be of benefit to the individual; in that process, the game will be better enjoyed.

“Watching at home with the company of your wife and children is not a bad idea but there will be distractions that can lead to disagreement.

“Like this World cup that is soon approaching, you do not expect me to watch it at home because to me it will be boring,” he said.

Also, Mike Onoquekhian, a journalist, said viewing centres possess a certain ambience that cannot be found while viewing at home, except when seasoned fans were watching at home together.

“I want to watch World Cup in a viewing centre because I am certain that no one will ask me unnecessary questions.

“Moreover, people do not understand that arguments during and after football matches are interesting, we fans look forward to them,” he said.

Meanwhile, Anthony Eze, the manager of a football viewing centre in New Nyanya said he expects a lot of customers during the World Cup.

He added that the surge is expected as fans are looking forward to new games following the end of Champions League.

According to him, football fans patronize viewing centres because they have passion in supporting their favourite football clubs.

“Sitting at home with few family members may not be the same like sitting with different mature individuals and analysts to watch and discuss football.

“Some women do not like football, they will prefer to watch fashion or movie channels, and therefore, such women will not even stay in the sitting room with her husband to watch a football match.

“Watching football match in such circumstance does not make it interesting, the viewing centres provide that eccentric feeling during football matches,” he said.