An open letter President Muhammadu Buhari
Dear President Buhari,
I know what you are going through and how inexplicably difficult it all is. And here am I, one more letter to read and one more plea for help. Sorry. The good news is I am not asking for money, and the second bit of good news is, what I am asking for is something very positive and uplifting, in the midst of these dark and gloomy times.
Please, please can you make a decision to allow just a percentage of football supporters into the ground to watch games.
Grown-up logic tells us what even the scientists must agree with: temperature checks, with supporters two metres apart, hand sanitising, masks, and so much empty space, distancing and open-air has to be perfectly safe, and what’s more, it’s a far better option than six around a table watching a match inside.
Looking ahead to the possibility and consequences of smaller clubs ceasing to exist, we need to remind ourselves that football is one of the last bastions of what it means to be a community in contemporary life.
How many times do we hear the words ‘stronger together’? It gives the young a sense of belonging, no need to join a gang. It also manages to transcend ethnicity, hatred, class and age.
Clubs at the heart of communities are saving the government and the taxpayers some of the high costs of youth crime. Whilst the charitable *Football Foundations* working alongside the clubs make an enormous contribution to those in most need in the communities they serve. Again, saving the taxpayer. What we all need is good news, hope and what you could get is a whole stash of brownie points.
Dear President, many other African countries who are playing in this year’s *CAF Champions League and Confederation Cup* are already allowing fans into their Stadiums and is turning out to be a big boost to them against us. Sir, four of our dear country’s clubs namely *Enyimba,* *Plateau United* *Rivers United* and *Kano Pillars* will be doing battles this weekend against teams from other countries who will have their fans supporting them but ours won’t have any fan supporting them because of the punishment *PTF on COVID-19* are putting Nigerians in, creating fears here and there and then lied to you that with fans going to the Stadiums, the disease will spread higher.
Mr President, PTF is lying to you about *COVID-19* and football fans in Nigeria. I was in *Ondo election* and I with many Nigerians including you and the PTF saw how everything went there yet we did not record any so-called high risk of *COVID-19.*
Nigeria is the best country in Africa when it comes to this beautiful game, which has become much more than that. An unsung gem that makes an enormous contribution to our society at no cost. Please Mr President, before the final whistle is blown, can we have our football back with fans??
_Thanks and God bless and be with you, sir._