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Nigerian fans who live in Qatar are very sad as their team cannot qualify for the football world cup, which will be held in Qatar. The World Cup will be held in Qatar in 2022 between November 21 and December 18.

Nigeria could not qualify for the world cup as they had failed to defeat Ghana in the world cup qualifiers. This made Nigerian fans sad as about 12,000 Nigerians who live in Qatar wanted to see their team play in Qatar. This wasn’t such a good development for Nigerian fans in Qatar.

A businessman named Ekeno Romeo, who has been living in Qatar for 12 years, said this news was heart-breaking for him. As he had to handle a financial loss when Nigeria was unable to qualify.

Talking to Al Jazeera, he said, “I had placed an order for 20,000 Nigerian national team jerseys, which I knew would be in high demand. I was also making plans to host the first-ever Nigerian entertainment and fashion week here in Qatar during the World Cup.”

 He added, “The event would’ve featured some of the best Afrobeats artists, comedians, and fashion designers to showcase and promote the Nigerian entertainment and fashion industries.” 

Addressing the team’s failure at the qualifiers, he said, “the order for the national team jerseys was cancelled, and the events were put on hold while we work out how to modify it to fit in other African countries qualified for the tournament.”

Nigeria has appeared in about six world cups since 1994, the team only missed out on the world cup, which was held in Germany in 2006.

Bukola Aliu, the secretary of the National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA), said that due to the team’s disqualification, sales of the airline tickets had been affected.

Talking to Al Jazeera, Aliu said, “Many people expressed an interest in touring Qatar as well.” He added, “The demand has reduced because most people are no longer interested.”

Emmanuel Nwachukwu of BFD Global Travels has said,” We, like other Nigerians, are disappointed because our business strategy was heavily geared towards Nigerian visitors, but demand for tickets from Nigeria is extremely low now.”

Abo Chebib, a restaurateur and also a partner with Nigerians in the Diaspora Organisation (NIDO). She has said that she no longer hears Nigerian people asking about Qatar any more.

She  said, “The World Cup is about more than just the 32 teams. It’s about tourism, culture, food, investment, and having a good time. From all indications, fewer Nigerians will travel to Qatar, which will have an impact on our business, given that we have spent many years preparing for the World Cup.”

Famous Nigerian DJ Alex Wales said that it would have been great if Nigeria had qualified as they could have had parties in which Nigerian musicians would have connected with the international stars.

He said, “We recently hosted an African comedy festival with popular Nigerian comedians such as Emmanuelle and Aunty Success, which drew a large audience. A World Cup appearance for Nigeria would have been magical because it would have created an atmosphere to attract top Nigerian artists to Qatar who have a large following in the country.”

Conclusion 

As you can see, not qualifying for the world cup has shattered the dreams of many Nigerians who wanted to be a part of the world cup. It has affected business people, musicians, restaurateurs, and the Nigerian diaspora living abroad, particularly in Qatar.

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