Players and officials of the Super Eagles held a one minute silence in honour of some Nigerians who died during the AFCON 2023 semi-finals with South Africa on Wednesday.
The Eagles defeated South Africa 4-2 on penalties after regulation time ended in a tension-soaked last four clash in Bouake.
Unfortunately, some Nigerians lost their lives while watching the dramatic encounter.
Among those who died are former House of Representative member (2003 – 2007) Dr. Cairo Ojougboh, Deputy Bursar at Kwara State University, Ayuba Abdullahi, Chief Executive Officer of Groupe Auto Promotion, Osondu Nwoye, and a National Youth Service Corp (NYSC) member identified as Samuel.
Speaking on the tragic incidents, Eagles captain Ahmed Musa said: “Good evening everyone, yesterday (Wednesday) we lost four Nigerians because of the game (against South Africa). So we will hold a one minute silence and Chidozie Awaziem will lead us in prayers.“
Musa stated that the team will do everything possible to win Sunday’s final in honour of those who died.
“There is nothing we can do, the families of the deceased need our support right now and Insha Allah on Sunday we will lift the trophy for them.“
Chidozie Awaziem, who led the team in prayers, called on God to accept the souls of the departed.
He prayed that they sit on the right hand of God so that they watch over the Super Eagles players and cheer them on in Sunday’s final.
Also, he asked God to comfort the families of the deceased and also guide the families of the Super Eagles players and officials.
Meanwhile, a statement on the Eagles X handle read:“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.”