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Soccer Viewing Centers - Should They Be Banned?

Due to the passion and high demand of live football (mostly the English Premiership) by soccer-loving Nigerians,soccer viewing centers and sport bars sprung up in every nook and cranny of Nigeria.It is even common to have as much as three viewing centers on a single street!

However,in recent weeks,people have clamored for the closure of these centers because it has been alleged that they attract people who are prone to violent conduct.We can all remember the case of the Arsenal fan who was stabbed about two years ago while watching a live match in one of these viewing centers.Viewing centers are also seen to be synonymous with drinking,smoking and even gambling.

It was reported yesterday that five people were shot by policemen in Igando(a suburb of Lagos) after watching a Wigan vs Manchester United match.The police alleged that there was reported fighting among the viewers after the match and they received a distress call to come quell the violence.

Is this enough to ban viewing centers?Your comments would most certainly be appreciated

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39 answers

Read this a few weeks back and dismissed it as mere talk.

However,it seems HiTV is hell bent on enforcin' this directive now that the new EPL season has started.i don't see any reason why HiTV should make viewing centers pay as much as N20000 a month because they hold exclusive rights to the UECL in Nigeria

http://www.ngrguardiannews.com/compulife/article08//indexn3_html?pdate=240609&ptitle=HITV%20introduces%20commercial%20bouquets%20for%20viewing%20centres,%20hotels&cpdate=300609

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I have given you like 4 instances of EPL sides unruly behaviour in European competitions Give me 4 instances from other countries in A continental competition

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THIS IS UTTER NONSENSE, HOW CAN THEY DEPRIVE PEOPLE OF THEIR FORM OF EXCITEMENT?

FOOTBALL LITERALLY TAKES PEOPLE'S MIND OFF ALL SORTS OF PROBLEMS THEY R FACING IN THIS TOUGH COUNTRY CALLED 9JA

ABEG WHO BORN DEM TO BAN FOOTBALL ENTERTAINMENT CENTERS? E NO GO BETTER FOR THEM

UNA DON CHOP COUNTRY MONEY SO UNA GET DSTV FOR HOUSE, MAKE THE MAN FOR STREET NOR WATCH FOOTBALL TOO

AH AHHH THATS VERY WICKED, WHY NIGERIA PEOPLE SEF GET MISPLACED PRIORITIES?

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I am talking about in Europe U can fight with your brothers in your house but dont take your shame outside

In every tournament English fans always get drunk and attack opponents France 1998 they attacked Tunisian fans,

Euro 2000 attacked Romanian fans, UEFA cup 2000, Leeds fans went to Istanbul to burn Turkish National flags

Heysel disaster Liverpool fans killing opposing fans,

Chelsea fans sending death threats to refs in 2005 and 2007 That is one too many.

hose people whose family were killed by English fans what do you have to say to them?

EPL should be banned again !!!!!!!

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it is not everyone that can afford DTH in their home and also it is not everyone that love watching games alone or in their house. going to game centers helps to catch the fun of the game. people that makes distress calls make it because they are scared. but it is really disheartening to see people being killed at these centers. banning is not the solution. the best solution is to educate every individuals about sports. sports comes with passion not emotions.

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The point is that EPL fans are the most unruly fans everywhere.

When was the last time you heard fans sending death threats to refs in Europe? The last 2 I heard involved EPL clubs (Chelsea 2005 and 2009)

When did you hear people killing others fans in a game like the disgrace at Heysel when Liverpool played Juventus.

English football are a disgrace

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My above post is based on the personal experience of a close friend.His only saving grace and why he still operates the business today is becos,he uses his family compound and the family pays 4 the dstv subscription while he pays 4 the hitv.

Back to topic

Viewing centres should not be banned.Supporting football clubs is a form of escapism for many.When they watch their teams play and their teams win,they temporarily 4get their problems and most importantly,it's a means of self employment.

Banning the viewing centres amounts to killing a mosquito with a sledge hammer.

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The peeps suggesting the taxation of soccer viewing centres by the government have their brains in their asses.What errant nonsense!

See,there are football viewing centres, beer parlours/joints and sports bar.These are all different business entities.

A typical viewing centre in Nigeria has some wooden benches or plastic chairs, a canopy or aluminium roof held up by iron pillars or wooden pillars(dug into the ground) to provide shelter from the rain and sun,and two 21 inches to show 2 simultaneous matches when the ocassion demands it and most subscribe to hitv and dstv at the same time.Added to this is money spent on fuel for generator,replacement of broken plastic chairs,fixing of the wooden benches etc. It will also be pertinent to mention that most peeps only watch chelsea,man u,arsenal,liverpool,barca,real madrid,premiership clubs wt 'nigerian factor' matches so it is only during those matches that attendance is high.Also, dont 4get the seasonal break in the football league in europe. Put all these into consideration and u'all realise there isn't much profit in the business after all most charge only N50 - N100/viewer.

I repeat those of you suggesting taxation by government have ur brains in your asses.Nonsense!.

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Regulation. That is the solution. All viewing centres should be registered and code of conduct(like no smoking, drinking, betting etc) set. Argument may be allowed, as it adds fun to the show, but limit should be set.

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This is modern day imperialism you guys should spare a thought for the local game. Afterall we export more football talents than any country in Africa to Europe see us at www.heartland-fc.com or www.arenasignages.com Watching a life game is different from seeing it live .Live is the real thing while the Television own is made to entaintain

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Damn You Michael Bay!

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bros abeg forget story . I can tell you that a burnley fan will most likely stick to burnley becuase the club is his local club. When I was in kwara state I supported Okin BISCUITS and OFFA united until they were disbanded.

You want people in nigeria to support clubs like luton town that are not even popular in England. People support clubs for different reasons ranging from favourite player,style of play,coach,results etc. big clubs also know that they have to keep working and getting good results to maintain and boost their fan base.

Even in Europe when a club people support become a constant source of heartbreak, they switch allegiance. How many fans do you think leeds united have now?

Do you know how J.S PARK alone influenced the fan base of Man u in Asia?

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@Bluediva

Lol, there are man united thugs, enyimba thugs, kashima anthlers thugs, hoffenheim thugs, barry town thugs e.t.c

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Daft statement.

What research did you carry out to reach this conclusion.

Sometimes i wonder how people reason.

The so called 'touts' or better still hooligans exist in every team.

I know so much about the English hooligans.

Sure people like you don't believe the whites are 'touts' too.

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It's about caution and knowing the calibre of people you watch with at the viewing centre. I remember the Arsenal Barca final, i left immediately Barca scored the second goal and stayed outside to watch the rest from a distance. Arsenal fans had been celebrating, drinking and taking pictures at halftime. Imagine the emotional swing when those goals came. True to my suspicion, a fight broke out that night. Someone got his head broken. In all my experience with viewing centres, all the fights have been Arsenal-related (sorry but my experience) or due to alcohol consumption or betting. Smoking and drinking even in a church will cause gobe if the sermon is controversial. That's what they do. Banning alcohol and stimulants would help reduce the violence. Police presence will only make it worse. I know a viewing centre that separates the fans. One team's fans inside the house, the other outside. Fights rarely happen unless someone trespasses. That also helps in a big, organised set up.

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PLEASE READ MY POST

NO INVOLVE POLICE BECAUSE IF YOU DO ITS ANOTHER THING

THEY WILL START COLLECTING BRIBE BEFORE YOU CAN WATCH ANY MATCH.

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EPL fans a re generally lousy and ill mannered

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@bgees,

Point of correction, United isn't supported by Touts, Only chelsea and arsenal do cos of having Nigerians having played for the club.

United followers are cool headed people, who are accustomed to winning.

Soap opera should be banned cos teenage girls are getting pregnant?

Utter rubbish, viewing centres are home to stay, nothing can stop them. Violence happens all around the world, even outside footie, all i will implore operators to do is provide adequate security and throw out violent followers.

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We are talking about a University campus here

Tosinadeda,

I served in Bauchi state Close to Pitiskum and there is no movement like the O2(What they call arsenal in those places) fans.

That place I am talking about in Surulere They share weed before games

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How many of these so-called fans are real fan.  

I have NOT seen ANY Football club fan in Nigeria. How come it's only the top clubs that have fans. How  come 1st div clubs  don't have "fans".

It boils down to Naija "pure-water" syndrome mentality.

Original fan stick with their clubs all their lives, Burnley fan WILL NEVER be a MAN United Fan, even if they are playing in the 4th division.

In 5 years time, attention of NIgerians would have shifted to another thing ( as we are specialist consumers of well packaged products like the EPL)

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crime would always be crime irrespective of the activity that caused it and the youth are very good at turning all the abundant energy they've got into any activity that may seem to be the 'in-thing'.

dont see me getting home @ 9:30pm to join pple watching a match and then becos of the outcome start a fight or even promote one. i'm usually deadbeat when i get home.

point: youth developmental programs and facilities needed urgently.

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Well, i'm kind of suprised that these things happen at public places.

I usually watch matches at home though.

When its a star match, my hubby or in-law usually drag me out.

Nothing like having the 'stadium effect'.  

We usually watch it at places where the prices of drinks is higher, perhaps thats why i have'nt seen people fighting.

That goes to disprove the liquor theory. Rather, the problem is the caliber of people that go to these centers.

Anyhow, not everybody can afford satlite fees. Banning it is not the solution.

If you can't stand the rancour. then don't watch. Millions should not be denied the little joy there is in this Country.

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It shouldn't be banned. Its just an appreciation and support of soccer, so what if people get a little drunk its all fun. Once again get your nerves out your asses people.

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it is my humble opinion that soccer viewing centers should be banned. just ask a 10 year old about current transfers in the english premier league and he will tell you all you need to know but ask him about his school work and he begings by sratching his head.what nonsense,more over with the advent of viewing centers most people now spend more time praying for clubs to win matches and forgetting about themselves.the worst is that of a fool who killed himself because arsenal lost to man u.this madness has got to stop

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Is English your mother tongue? Your brain must have being colonise.

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Abeg make dem nor banned dem o! Na him we country people dey take forget our sorrow.

MOST places to watch ball in 9ja are generally trouble-free. Insecurity is bad for business. That said, trouble usually coughs before it roars. You'll generally have an idea when it's about to get ugly. My advise is to choose carefully. If for any reason you're not comfortable where you are, find somewhere else or bone the match. If you're somewhere alayes are smoking publicly, join them or cut out, FAST

@aieromon

I was also in Benin that day. One of the happiest days of my life. Plenty hotels dey G.R.A. where u for watch the match in peace.

@tosinaded

Help me tell them o. I served in Borno and na Real and Barca be them life. EPL is a distant second especially in the rural areas. And I have seen fight there because of La liga so no difference.

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I kind of agree with Dayokanu. EPL matches have a greater chance of attracting violence. Too many touts supporting Man utd,Arsenal and Chelsea because these are the most popular among naija people. Infact i don't go to some viewing centres with my phone,wallet or wristwatch for d fear of mugging from those touts. Sometimes u can't celebrate a goal without watchin ur back. And u better watch how u argue or predict final scores because u just might pay for getting it right.

Also it is true that the average roadside viewing centre is crack den.

But there are some nice viewing centres around . Thats why they shouldn't be banned.

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What we should have more of, is civilized enclosures like bars, pubs or auditoriums to watch sports collectively

Not the rubbish springing up in every nooks and crannies of Nigeria, called viewing centres

More like gathering for illiterates, jobless morons, thugs, prats and lunatics

I cant say a lot more regarding what they are like because i havnt been to one myself, but the pictures i have seen, are not encouraging at all!

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naturally, these centres consitutes the copy rigths infrigiments of dstv and hitv. how ever, this is a country where there is a lot of poverty. we just have to allow this to make the poor also have a sence of belongings. i remember some years ago when this centres had not been, a fast food joint meant for maximum of about 15 people was beiseged by more than 2000 people. at first when thse people first stared comming, the resturance first taugth it was a good marketing day since almost every body boutgh at least a bottle of soft drink, but when the number exploded, the ownwer of the place invited the police. however, the police can do little since they claim to be their custommer and that was it. from then, the fast food banned their workers from turnning the decoders to stations showing sports.

these centres explosion did not really change the pressure. i remembered how i suffered watching the second round and quater final macthes of the current chaps. legue just because i intend watching about 2 to 3 matches together live. despite paying very high amount, i could hardly see the tv. people were so much that some were even beating up for not standing properly.

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''Nigerians are just violent bastards.''

Ibime, that's a little too extreme for a social site these, please prune ur words b4 posting on a public page. That statement is too direct and general.

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There is no need to ban viewing center, our people must learn to behave themselve or face the consequences for their actions, people who involve in fracas do so becos they know nothing will happen, I go to watch matches in pubs across europe and nobody was violently intimidating, The cure is existing laws on public conduct must the effectively enforced

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As long as the insecurity in the country is this high,violence will always be there ready to erupt at an instant.

People watch games in the pub in England.There's beer and alcohol flowing freely.The only restriction is the age you have to be to get in.

There are hardly any fights that I know of from there.Why?because there's always cops on the beat looking to jail any troublemaker at the drop of a hat.

I think it's not about the centers themselves.the police is largely ineffective to even stop pickpockets.How will the y deal with hardened criminals?

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beheading a man with an headache is not the cure to his illness

Those who operate those centers might need to form an association and establish certain policies to guide every activities at the centers.

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Why banning the viewing centre? the violent that occur in this centres is another failure on the part of govt. Where are the police? If all the centres can be regulated, seriously there wont be this type of problem and govt can also generate money by taxing this viewing centre.

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Banning the sale of alcohol and cigarretes at these centres wont make much of a difference.

People dont need alcohol to spur them to violence.

Good football on its own is enough to act as some form of high!

And banning viewing centres is not economically wise, it's a source of income for many!

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I remember watching a ManU vs Arsenal match(06/07 season) at a viewing center in Benin,Edo State which degenerated into a free for all when Thierry Henry scored the winner.I lost my wrist watch that day and it was then i decided that if i have to visit any viewing center,i will take a look at the type of people am gonna be watching the match with.Am down with Hitv so i still source for Carling Cup and FA Cup action from DsTv-installed viewing centers(Thank God HiTv intends adding these tournaments along with UECL to their package).After all,sports bars do not record these acts of violence and this is partly because of the type of individuals that patronise such outfits.

U have to agree with me that watching live football in a crowded room is more exciting than watching it in your living room alone.I always have to source for people to watch epl matches with me and i over-entertain them to make sure they come week in week out.

I don't support a ban but instead a regulation on the activities that should take place within a registered soccer viewing center.

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crowd violence is a problem associated with football, and other team sports, should we now ban those sports because of the violence?

the answer is NO!

instead what we should do is put adequate measures on ground to prevent/control such events.

we do not need to burn the house to roast the pig.

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