The Nasarawa State Government on Saturday said no gate fees would be charged for Sunday’s match involving hosts Nasarawa United Football Club at the Lafia Township Stadium.
The Nasarawa State Commissioner for Youths and Sports Development, Bamaiyi Anangba, told newsmen in Lafia that the gesture was aimed at encouraging local fans to fill up the stadium.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the match is one of the opening week fixtures of the 2017/2018 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season.
“It will motivate the home side to victory against the NPFL defending champions, Plateau United FC of Jos, whom they are hosting on Sunday at the stadium.
“I am calling on all indigenes and fans of Nasarawa United FC to turn out in their numbers in solidarity with the club. We know a lot of people will love to come to support them, but they may not have gate passes.
“So, as the Sports Commissioner, I have directed that the gates be thrown open to all and sundry to encourage a massive turnout.
“Plateau United are the defending champions and Nasarawa State was created out of Plateau State. So, this is an NPFL El-Classico,” the commissioner said.
He said starting the new season on a winning note would be a huge morale-booster, especially with Nasarawa United’s next match being away to former NPFL winners Kano Pillars FC.
“It will not be strange for Plateau United to come to play Nasarawa United in Lafia, but I tell you, it will be strange for them to beat us right in our home.
“That is why we have deployed all necessary mechanism to stop one of Nigeria’s representatives at the CAF Champions League from sinking a hole in our hearts,” Mr. Anangba said.
NAN reports that Plateau United held Nasarawa United to a goalless draw in Lafia last season and beat them 1-0 in the reverse fixture in Jos.