By UCHE SAMSON
The prestigious Ahmadu Bello University(ABU) has yet again imprinted its name in the history books by being the first to host an American Football match, not only in Nigeria, but the entire West African sub-region.
The historical match which pitched the Lagos Marines against hosts ABU saw the more experienced home team devour the visitors 26-14 in the highly entertaining encounter.
Being the first time, oganisers were not anticipating the unprecedented large turn-out of spectators that thronged the ABU Sports Complex to get a glimpse of the historic match.
Fans of American Football who were attracted from all over Nigeria, were excited all through the encounter, presenting Nigerians with another pulsating option to the regular football.
Speaking in an interview after the encounter, President of the Nigerian Institute of American Football, Professor Adamu Ahmed said that he was impressed by the impact the first outing had on the spectators.
“We are really thrilled and excited about the huge followership this first game is getting,” he said.
He explained that the thought of the institute was first muted in 2012, during the 50th Anniversary Celebration of ABU, a decision all stakeholders are today very proud of.
“Through a network of Alumni of ABU, led by NBA star, Ejike Ugboaja, we were able to bring coaches to Nigeria to lecture in seminars. We then started the national secretariat at the ABU Faculty of Agriculture,” he explained.
He said that the Vice Chancellor of the University has contributed tremendously in the development of the game so far, by providing moral and financial support.
“The Vice Chancellor was magnanimous in starting a Certificate Course in American Football which will in no time, transform into a Diploma Course,” he informed.
The Nigerian Institute of American Football, has Coaches Oliver B. Johnson, Daryl Hayes, and Ricardo Dickerson as members. ABU Alumni, Ejike Ugboaja is also a board member.