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FIFA World Cup 2018: How Well Can We Bank on Our In-laws?

By Ola Fadahunsi

Since Mikel’s Wife is from Russia, Nigerians who can’t afford hotels will lodge in their in-law’s place.” How well can we bank on our in-laws?

The Super Eagles in the late hours of yesterday (Nigerian time), jetted out to Russia after weeks of intensive training in preparation for the 2018 World Cup billed to start in less than 72 hours. 

Prior to booking qualification for the Mundial, eyebrows were raised in every nook and cranny of the country, as a country that had failed to qualify for the last two African Nations Cup was drawn in a group that have the Chipolopolo of Zambia, the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon (the current African champion), and Algeria, who were then, the undisputed best team on the African continent.

The fans were feeling skittish – and many were suggesting we should start preparation towards booking a place at the 2022 World Cup. 2022 World Cup? Announcement: watch out for this space as Lord Kia in a couple of days will disgorge something. Or maybe Lord Kia is working on 2026? Either way, I bet you won’t want to miss out. 

But a man wasn’t only feeling skittish, his life was on the line if Nigeria had failed to qualify for the World Cup.

Captain John Mikel Obi in an interview with in August of last year said his in-laws in Russia were rooting and waiting for Nigeria to qualify. The former Chelsea man jokingly said that failure to qualify puts his life on the line – as his in-laws have promised to kill him if Nigeria fail to qualify for the biggest sporting event on the plan.

“My wife is Russian, and many of our relatives and friends are from Russia.

“They are all expecting Nigeria to qualify for the next World Cup. I think they will kill me if I fail them,” Mikel said.


And as good in-laws, we didn’t only qualify, we did in style – qualifying for the mundial with a game to spare without losing a game, and the first African team to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.


Now that we’ve done our parts, can we bank on our in-laws?

In the aftermath of Nigeria’s qualification for the World Cup, @coconut_me jokingly wrote on Twitter: “Since Mikel Obi’s Wife/girlfriend is from Russia, Nigerians who can’t afford hotels will lodge in their in-law’s place.”

With the cold in Russia, the fans and the Super Eagles’ team will need our in-laws more: we are going to need their hot coffee to quench the cold.

Above the lodge and Coffee:  As highlighted by spotkick amongst the five off field activities that fans will most likely always remember the 2018 World Cup were fan violence and racism. Borrowing the word of a great man, Rochas Okorocha – these acts of iberiberism are over the years inseparable from the Russian football. After playing our own parts by qualifying for the World Cup, we demand that our in-laws play their own part as well by showing utmost respect not only to Nigerians but all nations, race, and colors that will be present at the World Cup, because football is more than a game; in the word of another great man, Shehu Idris, football is another religion. ‘The only religion that can help keep World peace.

On a final note, the Yorubas will say, “Iyawo buruku sefe, ana buruku ni o se ni. Which translate to in English as “One could afford to have a bad wife, but not bad in-laws. “Cheers to our in- laws!! As we await how they will bring and unite the World for the next one month.


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