At the Airport in Istanbul, while we waited at the gate to board our flight to Russia, Nigerians and Argentines argued about football technicalities and how one will whoop the other tomorrow.
The banter continued until someone mentioned club football. In minutes, sides changed. Nigerians and Argentines were no longer grouped as countries but as fellow club fans. The change was amazing because those who had just trashed each other as patriots have now become team members. Fellow countrymen no longer took sides with one another. This is football, the love for it seemed to be beyond what country they’re from.
Nigerians and Argentines were no more threatening to score a dozen goals against each other, citizens of both counties seated by that airport departure gate, wearing different jerseys had become fast friends as they discussed international club football.
When the time came for us to board, these strangers walked into the plane together, laughing out loud, leading one another, and exchanging hotel addresses.
I smiled. This was good to see. Football, uniting the world and breaking down barriers.
This trip is sponsored by Visa. They’re everywhere I want to be.