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Cape Verde striker laments crowd absence in duel with Nigeria

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BY KUNLE SOLAJA

Ryan Isaac Mendes da Graça, one of the forwards of Cape Verde team that will face Nigeria on Tuesday has lamented that the team would play in an empty stadium.

He however considered that just the fact that the team is in São Vicente was worth it. It is the first time that Cape Verde will be playing an international match in São Vicente.

“Feeling the warmth, affection and respect of the people of São Vicente is gratifying and we feel more confident in doing everything to achieve a victory”, he remarked.

The national football team arrived on Thursday night in São Vicente. 

For the coach, Pedro Leitão alias ‘Bubista’, the situation should not be viewed negatively.

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“We cannot face this situation in a negative way. The important thing is that it is now possible to play games here. We are sad because it is a FIFA imposition. But I think it’s a gain for other islands. We want to take the team to all the islands, even just for small stages and bring the players closer to the people”, he remarked.

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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