The Super Eagles of Nigeria have mourned the team’s supporters who died during the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) semi-final clash with the Bafana Bafana of South Africa.
No fewer than five football lovers died while watching the tensed match between the Super Eagles and the Bafana Bafana on Wednesday evening.
Tension escalated among football lovers when the Egyptian referee awarded a penalty to South Africa immediately after acknowledging Nigeria’s second goal scored by striker Victor Osimhen which was later cancelled by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR).
Reacting to the fans’ demise, the Super Eagles, in a post on the team’s X handle on Thursday, February 8, 2024, said: “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.
“As the Nigeria vs South Africa match unfolded, they were lost in the thrill of the game, unaware of the looming danger. May their souls find eternal peace, forever remembered for their love of football and the togetherness it brings. Rest in peace.”
An Anambra State-born businessman, Osondu Nwoye, died while watching the AFCON semi-final match between the Super Eagles and the Bafana Bafana in Cote d’Ivoire.
It was gathered that the businessman, a resident of Abidjan in Cote d’Ivoire, slumped and died during the penalty shootouts of the match on Wednesday evening.
Others who died watching the match were a former member of the House of Representatives who represented the Ika Federal Constituency of Delta State, Dr Cairo Ojougboh; the Deputy Bursar of Kwara State University (KWASU), Ayuba Abdullahi; and a member of the National Youths Service Corps (NYSC) serving in Adamawa State, identified simply as Samuel.
Nigeria and hosts Cote d’Ivoire would meet on Sunday in the final match of the tournament, after winning their semi-final matches against South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo, respectively.