Sunday was Match Day!
A lot among us were very optimistic that the Eagles would win. We, at one point or the other strategised on how we will move to Marakesh the following day but whenever such thoughts come, we always quickly stay alert and say: Let’s pray we win first!
I woke up at about 9am local time because of course I do sleep late nowadays to finish my reports before going to bed. Everyone went about his own business as we prepared to go to the stadium early in the afternoon.
The Nigerian students we saw on Saturday came visiting to our Hotel Rania and took a number of pictures before we set off to the colder Stade Ibn Batouta.
I headed to the Stadium’s media tribune (where journalists are seated inside a football arena) shortly after taking a cup of coffee at the Media Centre (indoors) and by the time I saw the first steward fully wrapped in his jacket, I knew it was going to be a terribly cold day because these guys normally wear ordinary T-shirts.
Wow! The cold was at its peak while the accompanying wind made it horrendous. That was the most we have ever had in Tangier, the coldest city we have been to in Morocco. A UK based colleague Sekar Satish said: “This is unacceptable. You can understand if this is the UK but in Africa, no it is not.”
Well, I’ve been doing the live updates for Nigeria’s games for the company @acl_sports on Twitter from inside the stadium, you dare not try it in Nigeria (you can follow us and tune in if you’ve not done so). Despite the cold and the wind which was blowing at 31km/hr I persisted and ensured I saw it through in the midst of a back pain that came from nowhere too.
We won! Just by the skin of our teeth but it was relieving. The cold but enjoyable stay in Morocco is confirmed extended. Though my flight ticket runs till the end of the competition, I might have cut it short had we exited at that stage. “Who for dey read my Diary?”
We left the stadium after the Presser for Hilton Hotel to see a couple of colleagues that came with the NFF delegation and it was there I met a Nigerian lady, studying in Tangier. She is dark like me, Christian from Jalingo and very courteous. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? (Don’t think astray pal, nothing dey!)
We returned back to our Hotel and had a post-match dinner. Others opted for Eba but I preferred ‘something light’ so I had my bread and tea.
Farewell to Tangier on Monday morning.