Football viewing centres are everywhere in the nook and crannies of Nigeria. We agree that these centres are ready sources of income for those who operate them and this is good for our country especially in these difficult times.
But what is unacceptable is the nature of some viewing centres. Some operators of viewing centres have no regard for the welfare of football fans who visit such centres to watch their club’s matches. The operators are only interested in the money they collect from fans. Some viewing centres look like goat houses, some like poultry houses, always looking dirty. Some others look like shrines and brothels. Some operators build their viewing centres in the middle of nowhere with rag-tag materials as if it is a place kidnappers keep their victims. Others convert the next available uncompleted building, abandoned farm land, spaces under high-tension wires and mechanic villages into viewing centres having little or no ventilation. We wonder why there is no national body that regulates operations of viewing centres and also does quality check on the health and environmental safety of these centres.
This is wrong! Europe is where you have the football clubs that have a lot of fans in Nigeria who are willing to go to viewing centres to watch their clubs play. Now that the football season is over across Europe we call on operators of football viewing centres to, as a matter of urgency, reconstruct their facilities and make them fit for human existence. An average fan spends between N8,000 to N10,000 each football league season watching games in viewing centres at N50 per game (don’t forget that some centres charge N100 per game). When you add up the weekend and mid-week games, including Champions league, Europa league, Capital One cup, and FA cup games you see that these people are making a fortune from you and should give you the best.
What do you think about this issue? Can you differentiate between the viewing centres in the pictures and the poultry? What do you think these viewing centres look like?