The love that binds every element that makes up Nigeria as a country stood awakened in the heart of every citizen of the country living at home and abroad when the country's professional senior football team, Super Eagles, faced South African Bafana-Bafana in the semi-final stage of the ongoing Cote D'Ivoire 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON.
Nigerians stood by the Super Eagles and those who could not make it to Stade Bouake where the match was played, stood at the front of their television set watching how the two nations settled the scores.
Nigeria scored the first goal of the game in the second half after holding each other to a goalless draw in the first half of the match.
Nigerian was still leading with a lone goal when the game entered the injury time, 90th minutes; Nigerian playmaker and Napoli star, Victor Osimhen eased a ball into the net of South Africa, making the game what looked like a settled tie, 2-0 in favor of Nigeria?
The fantastic fans of the Super Eagles in the stadium went agog at the top of their voices, and millions of others watching the match on the screens were full of joy that it was "over" for South Africa.
Unfortunately, the Referee canceled Osimhen's goal for no offense but he remembered there was a penalty kick he should have picked for South Africa. Then, he had to contact the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) to determine if his thought could be justified.
Interestingly, at the 90th minute of playtime, the Referee took a VAR decision after review, canceled Osimhen's goal, awarded a penalty to South Africa, and the match, in the 90th minute, moved from 2-0 in favor of Nigeria to 1-1 draw.
The development generated shocks for many Nigerians and it cost the lives of at least four Nigerians who died before the match was later concluded 4-2 in favor of Nigeria after the penalty shootouts.
For now, four dead have been linked to the VAR decision in the semi-final match between Nigeria and South Africa in the Cote d'Ivoire 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.
Brief profile of the four Nigerians whose deaths have been linked to the VAR decision are:
1. Nigerian Businessman and Billionaire based in Cote D'Ivoire, Chief Osondu Nwoye who passed on while watching Nigeria and South Africa's game.
He was the CEO of Groupe Auto Promotion. He collapsed and died in the stadium immediately after the VAR decision was taken against Nigeria.
2. Nigerian University Staff, Alhaji Ayuba Abdullahi also passed on while watching the game. He was the Deputy Bursar of the Kwara State University in Ilorin, Kwara State capital.
3. Former Nigerian House of Representatives member and stalwart of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Delta State, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh also passed on while watching the AFCON game.
4. Nigerian graduate and member of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC), Samuel, also passed on while watching the game.
Commiserating with families of the deceased, the Super Eagles team vows to forever remember the late citizens.
A statement released by the team read "During the course of our semi-final match, we tragically lost a 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."
Tag: VAR Decision Killed Four Nigerians Watching AFCON Semifinal Match Against South Africa
Written by Author (author)
Published 2/9/2024 1:06:58 PM