A Nigerian supporter brandishes a scarf during the 2022 Qatar World Cup African qualifiers group 3 football match between Nigeria and Central Africa Republic at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, in Surulere in Lagos State, on October 7, 2021. (Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP) (Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP via Getty Images)

Qatar 2022: Nigeria’s failure to qualify has affected sales and travel packages

Nigerian football fans and business owners in Qatar are still reeling from their team’s failure to qualify for the World Cup 2022, which will be the first time to be held in the Middle Eastern country from November 21 to December 18.

TOPSHOT – A Nigerian supporter cries in Lagos on June 26, 2018, as he watches the Russia 2018 World Cup football match between Nigeria and Argentina. (Photo by Segun Ogunfeyitimi / AFP) (Photo credit should read SEGUN OGUNFEYITIMI/AFP via Getty Images)

Nigeria’s failure to beat Ghana in their qualifiers prevented them from qualifying for the 2022 World Cup, a result that shocked not only the nation but also dealt a huge blow to the approximate 12,000 Nigerians in Qatar who were looking forward to watching the team in action and also benefitting from its presence at the tournament.

Ekene Romeo who is an astute businessman based in Qatar for nearly 12 years, said the Super Eagles’ failure to qualify was heartbreaking and hit him financially.

“I had placed an order for 20,000 Nigerian national team jerseys, which I knew would be in high demand. I was also making plans to host the first ever Nigerian entertainment and fashion week here in Qatar during the World Cup,” Romeo told Al Jazeera.

A Nigerian supporter brandishes a scarf during the 2022 Qatar World Cup African qualifiers group 3 football match between Nigeria and Central Africa Republic at the Teslim Balogun Stadium, in Surulere in Lagos State, on October 7, 2021. (Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI / AFP) (Photo by PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP via Getty Images)

“The event would’ve featured some of the best Afrobeats artists, comedians and fashion designers to showcase and promote the Nigerian entertainment and fashion industries.”

However, Romeo added, due to the team’s failure to qualify, “the order for the national team jerseys was cancelled and the events were put on hold while we work out how to modify it to fit in other African countries who qualified for the tournament”.

Nigeria has been at six World Cups since its maiden appearance at USA 1994. Since then, the team qualified for all World Cup tournaments apart from Germany 2006.

KALININGRAD, RUSSIA – JUNE 16: Nigeria fans support their team during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group D match between Croatia and Nigeria at Kaliningrad Stadium on June 16, 2018 in Kaliningrad, Russia. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

Footballers, officials, fans and business owners in Qatar are counting their losses after the national team failed to qualify for the World Cup.