Ifeanyi Mathew : I Missed Garri And Egusi Soup When I Arrived Europe

A former Flying Eagles midfielder, Ifeanyi Mathew has opened up on some of the difficulties he encountered as a teenager in his early days in Europe npflupdates.com reports.

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Ifeanyi Mathew signed for Norwegian club Lillestrøm SK shortly after representing Nigeria at the FIFA U-20 World Cup tournament.

And in a recent interview with Nigerian media giant The PUNCH, the former Kano Pillars player, voiced out his earlier challenges. According to Ifeanyi, one of the major challenges he faces was with feeding; as couldn’t locate African foods easily.

The former CHAN Eagle stated that, for some days after arriving Norway, he had to feed only on burger and juices. Which according to him isn’t good for his fitness.

Ifeanyi Mathew is a former Flying and CHAN Eagles midfielder.
Ifeanyi Mathew in action for FC Zurich

Ifeanyi Mathew explains difficulty in diet in Europe

“It was tough,” he said.

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“No garri, no egusi soup at the start. It was all burger and juice, which wasn’t good for me, but I found a way around it after I located where Nigerian foods were sold.”

Also talking about the cold weather condition of Norway, the 26-year-old confessed he struggled during his acclimatization period.

“For the weather, I struggled a lot because moving from hot weather to a cold region made it very difficult for me. But thank God I adapted because I could not afford to go back home”

Racial abuse and profiling, are some of the major challenges facing black Africans in Europe. A lot of players have been racially abused by fans, and to some extent by their teammates.

But, that hasn’t been the case of Ifeanyi Mathew, as he hasn’t experienced any racial profiling or abuse.

However, some persons had wanted to physically bully him in neighborhood back then on Oslo.

“Not really,” he said about being racially profiled or abused.

“But I was bullied by some people around my neighbourhood in Oslo when I first arrived. They wanted to take advantage of me in a car park, but as a Naija boy I refused to be threatened. We settled the issue when some people intervened.”

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He added, “They noticed I played for one of their big teams and we became friends afterwards, but I was more aware of my environment going forward. Naija boy no go carry last.”

Matthew is currently contracted with FC Zurich, an outfit playing in the Switzerland Super League. In the past, he’s played in Turkey for Osmanlispor, then it was a season long loan from Lillestrøm SK.

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