Band helps boost enthusiasm for Nigeria’s soccer team at Women’s World Cup
Some are calling it Nigeria’s secret weapon at the FIFA Women’s World Cup a quartet made up of two drummers and two trumpeters.
The musicians are members of the Nigeria Football Supporters Club, and hail from Toronto. They travel where ever the national team goes, and play all 90 minutes of every match they attend.
“They make everybody lively. They make the game fun. You just want to dance, whether you're losing, whether you're winning," said Sylvester Aghidi, president of the Nigerian Association of Manitoba Inc.
Many credit the band with helping the Nigerian team even up the score in Monday’s match against Sweden.
"We sing and we bring down the glory and it really touches the players and we get results,” said trumpet player Tunde Folayan.
It’s their enthusiasm motivating fans of other counties to step up their cheering sections.
"We've added some drums and cow bells and whackers and we're all coming out in face paint," said Swedish soccer fan Janet Lyon-Anderson.
She’s also making sure the group sits together at the rest of the matches in Winnipeg.
Fans from Australia have also noticed the small-but-loud group.
"They were really cool. They were so fun to listen too," said Georgia Fogarty, who plays on a youth soccer team travelling alongside the Aussie national women’s team.
They are now going to each game prepared to cheer the entire time.
"We got some horns, some kangaroos and lots of cheering and chants," said one of Fogarty’s teammates.
The Nigerian Support band is following their national team beyond the matches in Winnipeg. They plan on being in the stands until the team gets eliminated, which they hope won’t be for a while.
"Mark my words, we are winning the match and we are going to win the cup,” said trumpet player Tunde Folayan with a laugh.
Nigeria fell to Australia Friday, losing 2-0.
Their next match is scheduled for Tuesday, June 16 at BC Place Stadium in Vancouver.