Ottawa’s African-Canadian community has a special night ahead on July 12.


Zambia and Nigeria both booked their tickets to a FIFA U-20 World Cup playoff round matchup at Frank Clair Stadium this past Saturday night and “everybody is very happy,” said Brenda Obaseki, president of the Nigerian Canadian Association in Ottawa.


“It’s too bad only one African team can go on, but it’s good because it means that at least one African team will be in the quarter finals.”


Obaseki’s church is trying to make arrangements to host the players at a special event.

“Everybody is very excited,” she said. “This is a very good team, and we want to see the best from them.”

Zambian-born Ottawa resident John Nzakamulilo is trying to rally his countrymen. But he is expecting more Nigerian team fans in the crowd on Thursday night.

By his count, the Zambian population in Ottawa is in the low hundreds compared to the more than 3,000 Nigerian families Obaseki counts in the area.

However, Nzakamulilo said it won’t be totally one-sided, since other people from the continent will cheer for his country.

“People from southern Africa will probably cheer for Zambia, and from western countries they’ll cheer for Nigeria,” he said.