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Tuface Thrills At ‘Maracana’ Stadium

Posted by By Adebobola Alawode on 2009/01/09 | Views: 492 |

Tuface Thrills At ‘Maracana’ Stadium

Sunday, 4 January, will remain in the minds of FESTAC Town residents for a very long time.

Sunday, 4 January, will remain in the minds of FESTAC Town residents for a very long time.

It was a day ‘Maracana’ Stadium witnessed a very large turn out of spectators, who had come out to see what some hip-hop artistes could do with the ball on the field of play.

The artistes, under the name Upcoming Team, were led by African Queen crooner and MTV Base award winner, Innocent Idibia, popularly known as Tuface. Other artistes in the team included Owoyemi Akinwale, also known as Natz, who is Tuface’s back-up singer; Adewale Adepoju, known as W4; Chibuzor Orji, known as Faze of the defunct Plantashun Boiz. Da Natives and the Black Tribes were also presented.

The veterans’ team was led by Sylvester Okadi, who had a stint in the lucrative Dubai League. Olanrenwaju Abiola and Scatter Okechukwu, who played in the same league; Italy-based Tatamori Isaac was also a member of the veterans. Though he didn’t play to the expectations of the spectators, they, however, acknowledged him with cheers.

As both teams filed onto the pitch, the spectators went wild, screaming, ‘can Tuface play football’? ‘Look at Natz, what can he do with the ball?’ ‘Omo forget all these guys, they only know about singing and dancing.’

In the frenzy of the fans’ screaming and yelling, the disc jockey increased the volume of the music, but this did not stop the fans from mocking the hip-hop artistes.

The spectators concentrated on the game only to be distracted when the DJ reeled out tunes from the albums of some of the stars present. The spectators were drawn from far and wide. Toddlers, who didn’t even know what was going on, were also on ground. Parents were not left out of the frenzy, as they came out in their numbers to witness the epoch-making novelty match.

The centre of attraction throughout the match was Tuface. Whenever he received the ball from his team-mates, the spectators would jeer, howl and jeer. For close to two hours, the spectators defied the scorching sun to watch their favourite artistes play football.

Throughout the match, the fans were kept on their toes, trying to see what these hip-hop stars could do with the ball. The veterans scored their opener barely ten minutes into the match. The goal was described as ‘made in Dubai’ because of the way it came. Okadi received the ball from one of his defenders, dribbled two players before setting Abiola up. Abiola wasted no time in slotting the ball between the legs of Owoyemi Folly, for the first goal.

Piqued by the one goal conceded, Tuface went wild charging at his team-mates. This prompted the spectators to shout Baba Mourinho! Mourinho Baba! He, in return, responded thus: Yes Oh! Yes Oh! Nothing Dey Happen! No Leh Leh!

As the upcoming stars continued their search for the equaliser, they left their defence line open which paved way for the second goal, just before the referee signalled the end of the first half.

During the half-time break, the spectators used the opportunity to take photographs while the stars signed autographs, though Tuface stole the show.

The second-half saw the Upcoming Team come out forcefully to search for goals. Their efforts paid-off when Gbolahan Ogunleye, son of former deputy-governor of Lagos state, who was substituted for Tuface in the 15th minute of the second-half, dribbled past two defenders of the veterans and scored his side’s only goal of the match.

Ayodele Awoma, who dressed for the veterans, was the whipping boy as the spectators booed him throughout the match. They described him as an old footballer who has little or nothing left in his football career. The veterans, however, grabbed their third goal before the referee ended the encounter.

At the end of the match, Kingsley Egobi, a.k.a Kingo, who, alongside Okadi, organised the novelty match, said he was impressed with the turnout of the spectators. He also praised the artistes for honouring the invitation despite their tight schedules.

According to Kingo, “this event wouldn’t have been a success without the fans. The fans were too great. What made me happy was that there were no crowd troubles. I also want to appreciate all the hip-hop artistes present here for taking out time to be here. I’m very grateful to you all.

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