Members of the Nigerian national football team, Super Eagles, have mourned Nigerians who died during their semi-finals against South Africa on Wednesday at the ongoing African Cup of Nations.
In a video shared on the team’s official Instagram page on Friday, the captain of the Super Eagles, Ahmed Musa, was seen leading the team to observe a minute silence in honour of those who died during the game while noting that the Super Eagles will lift the trophy for the deceased Nigerians on Sunday.
He said, “Yesterday, we lost four good Nigerians because of the game. We wish their families the best but there’s nothing we can do. Insha Allah, on Sunday, we’re gonna lift that trophy for them and the country.”
Noble News reported that no fewer than five persons had died while watching the match between Super Eagles and Bafana Bafana of South Africa on Wednesday.
Earlier, the Super Eagles, mourned the fans via its X handle with a message, “During 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.”
The team prayed that the souls of the departed “find eternal peace, forever remembered for their love of football and the togetherness it brings. Rest in peace.”
A former member of the House of Representatives who represented the Ika Federal Constituency of Delta State, Dr Cairo Ojougboh, reportedly died while watching the AFCON semi-finals.
Also, a sales representative, Mikail Osundiji, said to be working with Nestle Plc reportedly slumped and died while watching the match in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital.
An Anambra State-born businessman, Chief Osondu Nwoye, from Amanuke, in Awka North Local Government Area, but a resident in Abidjan was also reported dead.
Others who reportedly died while watching the match include: Deputy Bursar of Kwara State University, Malete, Alhaji Ayuba Abdullahi; and a Nigerian graduate and corps member named Samuel.
They had all slumped and died following a heavy shock after the referee nullified Nigeria’s second goal against South Africa, put in the net by striker Victor Osimhen and awarded a penalty kick in favour of South Africa.
Nigeria and the host nation, Cote D’Ivoire would meet on Sunday in the final match of the Nations Cup, after both won their semi-final matches against South Africa and the Democratic Republic of Congo respectively.