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How Warri, Abuja Stood Still for Heineken ‘Cheers to All Fans’ Campaign 



Abuja, the Nigeria Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and the oil-rich city of Warri were pumped up with excitement as the Heineken ‘Cheers to All Fans Campaign train made a big splash in the two cities.

With fans across the world already eager to know the finalists in this season’s Champions League, Heineken made the passionate fans in Abuja and Warri have something extra to look forward to.

In the end, it was a spectacular show, on and off the pitch for the fans and loyal Heineken consumers who thronged the De Clouds Lounge in Warri and the Papiees Meatro in the heart of Abuja.

In Warri, the attention was on the Milan derby, where Inter were looking to complete a double over their city rivals while AC Milan on their part were hoping to turn the tables after a 2-0 deficit from the first leg.

Most fans on the night in Warri were neutral; unanimously wishing the better side to pick the ticket and that better side turned out to be Inter who won the second leg again. 

Laturo Martinez got the goal that saw Inter progress on a 3-0 aggregate scoreline and end their 13-year wait for a chance in the Champions League final.

As jubilant Inter fans partied into the night at San Siro, it was the same festive atmosphere in Warri as Heineken pumped up the excitement for the fans who all gushed over the unique viewing experience.


‘Cheers To All Fans’ as preached by Heineken was evident as there was a high turnout of female football enthusiasts who commended the Premium brand for their deliberate inclusivity drive.

“I like football a bit but this night, Heineken has made me even like the game the most, this unique experience is so fantastic and I really enjoyed myself with my friends,” a Warri resident, Sandra Achi said after the match.

With DJ Blizz dishing out sonorous songs from his turn tables and Mr Barango hitting his A-game with his Hypeman skills it was a lovely night for all in Warri.

Several prizes were also given out to the fans who expressed appreciation to Heineken and also appealed for a swift return to the city.

On the same day Oris Lounge, Aba and Rehab Lounge Benin were also part of the Heineken magic for the Milan derby with hundreds of fans also served a unique match viewing experience.


Then the attention on Wednesday shifted to the seat of power in Abuja for the Manchester City and Real Madrid duel.

The Papiee’s Meatro was jam-packed with fans ready to enjoy what was predicted as an explosive encounter.

The first leg encounter had ended 1-1 apiece in Spain a week ago with goals from Vinicius Junior and De Bruyne settling up the tantalizing encounter.

In the same way, nobody would have predicted the 4-0 outcome at the Etihad Stadium, the excitement and fun provided by Heineken in Abuja were also unprecedented; surpassing the expectations of everyone that was part of the Cheers to All Fans campaign.

Not even the light showers on Wednesday could rub the fans the excitement as people from all walks of life who found their way to the Papiee’s Maetro confessed they were happy with their smart decision.


One of the A fans, Ndubuisi Ikemefuna despite the scrambled DSTV signal caused by rain said he was happy that at last his beloved side City will play in the UCL finals next month. 

According to him, ‘Man City is the best on planet and nothing will stop them from achieving the treble”

Another fan, Obinna Iroji lamented about Madrid’s loss, “Ancelotti did not get his tactics right. We gave them too much space and respect.

“It is totally humiliating for us as a team but kudos to Heineken and Papiee’s Maetro for this lovely and serene environment. It’s ideal place for me and family to unwind”  

Despite the fans’ mix of fulfilment and disappointment at the end of the regulation time, they had a night they would continue to relish courtesy of Heineken’s ‘Cheers to All Fans Campaign’


There were plenty of gift items for winners and loads of music supplied by DJ Davidson.

Other top entertainers; including Hypeman K. Bumper, lit the night with their jokes and more as fans soon switched into the party mood after being on the edge of their seats while the game lasted.

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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