The Nigeria National Football team has revealed that some fans passed away while watching their Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2023 semifinal clash against South Africa.
In a statement, the Super Eagles mourned the departed souls, describing the incidents as tragic and sad.
“During the course of our semi-final match, we tragically lost few supporters. In a cruel twist of fate, their fervent passion for the beautiful game unwittingly led them to their final moments,” read part of the statement.
Further, the statement highlighted that it was so unfortunate that as the match unfolded, the departed fans were lost in the thrill of the game, unaware of the looming danger.
Sending a message of condolence to the families that lost their loved ones, the Super Eagles noted that the fans will forever be remembered.
“May their souls find eternal peace, forever remembered for their love of football and the togetherness it brings. Rest in peace,” the statement added.
It is alleged that four men passed on under unclear circumstances in separate incidents while watching the AFCON game on February 7,2024.
Tragic for Nigeria Celebrations
A former Nigerian political named Dr Cairo Ojougboh is said to have collapsed while watching the match at his residence in Abuja.
According to reports from a source close to the politician, he collapsed after South Africa scored an equalizer in the 90th minute during the AFCON clash.
“The incident happened when the penalty was awarded against Nigeria. Dr Ojougboh was said to have shouted and slumped due to massive heart attack when SA scored,” said the source.
Ojougboh, who worked as a medical doctor, is a former House of Representatives Member representing the Ika Federal Constituency of Nigerian state of Delta.
In a similar incident, another Nigerian Businessman, is said to have also collapsed after Nigeria’s second goal was dramatically ruled out.
Chief Osondu Nwoye, a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) reportedly passed on after Victor Osimhen’s goal was ruled out due to a foul in the initial play.
Other fans who were reported to have also passed on while supporting their national team were a Nigerian University Staff and Nigerian graduate and Corps member.
Nigeria vs South Africa
The must-win clash between the two countries took place at the Stade de la Pix de Bouake in Cote d’Ivoire on February 7, 2024.
The Super Eagles maintained their impressive solid backline as they won the match after a penalty shoot-out following a 1-1 draw.
Bafana Bafana on the other hand were making their first ever AFCON semi-final appearance since the year 2000.
They scored the equalizing goal through a penalty kick in the 90th minute to send the game into extra time.
The South Africa Premier Soccer League (PSL) made an impressive record as it showcased the highest number of domestic players at the 2023 AFCON tournament.
Close to 30 players from South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique, Ghana, Nigeria, and even the host country, Ivory Coast who play in the PSL league were part of the tournament.
In the other semifinal match, hosts Ivory Coast knocked out DR Congo, setting up an all-West-African final to be played on February 11, 2024.