The Manchester United-Portsmouth friendly that drew 30,000 fans Sunday in the Nigerian capital of Abuja underscored a troubling problem for Nigerian soccer. Fans love the EPL, while local clubs struggle to stay afloat.
"When you look at the stadiums, you'll find that the stands are virtually empty," says Ismaila Lere, sports editor at the Daily Trust newspaper. "while the bars and the joints that have satellite TV are full. People will pay to watch the Premier League on TV but not to watch Nigerian football live."
Nigerians' obsession with English clubs resulted in seven people dying in clashes between Manchester United and Chelsea fans after the broadcast of the UEFA Champions League final.