The world football governing body, FIFA has sympathised with Nigeria and the families of the Nigerians who lost their lives while watching the 2023 AFCON semi-final match between Super Eagles vs Bafana Bafana of South Africa.
That day, Nigerians celebrated their victory over South Africa, but that celebration was cut short with numerous reports of deaths.
A former member of the House of Representatives from the Ika Federal Constituency of Delta State, Cairo Ojougboh, died while watching the match.
Osondu Nwoye, a businessman from Anambra state who resides in Abidjan slumped and died while watching the AFCON game in the stadium.
Another Nigerian, Mikail Osundiji, died while watching the game in Abeokuta, Ogun state. Deputy Bursar of Kwara State University, Malete, Ayuba Abdullahi also slumped and died after Victor Osimhen’s goal was disallowed during the game.
Others are a youth corps member in Adamawa, Samuel Yunana, and 43-year-old Mikail Osundiji in Abeokuta.
A cruel twist of fate
The game ended in a 1-1 draw and was decided by a penalty shootout and fortunately, Super Eagles came out victorious.
FIFA wrote via its X official account, our thoughts are with the family and friends of those who have tragically passed away as well as the entire football community in Nigeria. Rest in peace.”
Also, the Super Eagles of Nigeria’s official Instagram page posted on Thursday: “In a cruel twist of fate, their fervent passion for the beautiful game unwittingly led them to their final moments as Nigeria vs South Africa match unfolded, they were lost in the thrill of the game, unaware of the looming danger.”
The Super Eagles prayed that the departed “find eternal peace, forever remembered for their love of football and the togetherness it brings. Rest in peace.”
The Super Eagles are expected to pay tribute to the departed souls by wearing black hand bands during the 2023 AFCON final against Ivory Coast on Sunday, February 11.