Four Chelsea fans in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital, lavished N98,000 on compatriots while celebrating the club’s 5-0 routing of Everton in Saturday’s English Premier League match.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Chelsea recorded its biggest win of the season with a brace from Eden Hazard and one goal each from Diego Costa, Marcos Alonso and Pedro Rodriguez.
The win moved the Blues to the top of EPL table pending the outcome of matches involving Arsenal and Liverpool on Sunday.
A NAN correspondent, who witnessed the spectacle at a viewing centre located along Old Enugu-Road, Abakaliki, reports that the celebrations continued till early Sunday morning.
The Proprietor of the centre, Ejike Agha, who spoke to NAN, said the action of the fans unfolded like a movie and came as a surprise to many who were at the viewing centre.
Agha said: “The four Chelsea fans were taunted by tens of rival clubs fans mainly from Manchester City, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United.
“The tide turned when Chelsea started scoring and by the time Costa scored the third goal to end the first half, the taunters retreated to their shells.”
Agha said the Chelsea fans took over proceedings and ordered him to distribute all the drinks inside his refrigerator and delicacies he was serving to everyone present.
He said: “They started making phone calls and by the time Hazard scored the fourth goal in the second half, my viewing centre could not contain the crowd that had gathered.
“The frenzy was unimaginable as their friends arrived from various places and by the time Pedro scored the fifth goal, I was ordering drinks and delicacies from restaurant owners around the area.”
Agha said he could not imagine his luck because by the time he prepared the bills, it came to N98,000.
One of the Chelsea fans, who simply identified himself as Bruno, told NAN that he did not regret his actions and would repeat it if the occasion demanded.
Bruno said: “The only thing that gives me joy in the world is Chelsea and I will make any sacrifice to sustain and transfer such joy to others.
“We were mocked as failures this season, especially after the 0-2 trashing by Arsenal, but our indefatigable Coach, Anthonio Conte, rose to the occasion.
“He changed our playing style to the 3-5-2 pattern, which fetched him glory at Juventus, and we have been on steady rise since then.”
Bruno said his greatest source of joy was that Chelsea now topped the table, even if temporarily, and many fans were converted to support the club after the spending spree.
Barry Ozoma, a referee with the Ebonyi State Sports Council, expressed worry at the heightened following of European clubs by football fans in Nigeria.
Ozoma said: “I was at the viewing centre and could not comprehend the sentiments expressed by the young and old people, even women, to these foreign clubs.
“No one discussed Sunday’s Federation Cup final between FC IfeanyiUbah and Nasarawa United at the centre and if a chunk of such attachment is deployed to the national cause, Nigeria will be great.”