FIFA, the world governing body, honoured the Nigerian football supporters who lost their lives during the ongoing African Cup of Nations semifinals.
After scores tied in extra time, the Eagles defeated Bafana 4-2 on penalties to advance to Sunday’s final in Abidjan, where they will take on tournament hosts Ivory Coast in an attempt to win a fourth continental championship. This is their first final appearance since 2013.
FIFA said via its X handle, “Our thoughts are with the family and friends of those who have tragically passed away as well as the entire football community in Nigeria,” in response to the fans’ loss. Rest in peace.”Along with grieving via their handle on Thursday, the Eagles remembered their fans who passed away during the ongoing AFCON semi-finals.
The post read, “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 group said a prayer for the deceased’s souls to “find eternal peace, forever remembered for their love of football and the togetherness it brings.” Rest in peace.”
Reported dead at the stadium was Osondu Nwoye, an Abidjan-based businessman who was born in Anambra State.
Cairo Ojougboh, a former representative from Delta State’s Ika Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, is said to have passed away while watching the AFCON semifinals.
Also, while watching the game in the capital of Ogun State, Abeokuta, a sales representative named Mikail Osundiji is said to have slumped to his death.
Ayuba Abdullahi, the deputy bursar at Kwara State University in Malete, reportedly slumped to his death while watching the game after the referee disallowed Victor Osimhen’s goal against South Africa.
Following Islamic customs, he was buried on Thursday.