Monday, October 10, 2011

Fans vandalize national stadium in response to Super Eagles Nations Cup exit

Disappointed Super Eagles' fans on Saturday in Abuja showed their bitterness by vandalising some parts of the stadium and by calling for removal of Coach Samson Siasia.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Super Eagles drew 2-2 against Guinea's Syli Nationale to seal Nigeria's hopes of participating in the 2012 African Nations Cup.

In the qualifying final round 'Group B' match played at the Abuja National Stadium, the Eagles had come from behind to lead 2-1 until the fifth minute of added time.

While the fans had restrained themselves from booing the team during the game, in spite of a lacklustre performance, they, however, started booing the players after the game.

After booing the players off the pitch, an appreciable number of the fans, who could find their way to the stadium's VIP Section, broke a glass window near the Media Centre.

The fans made frantic attempts to break in and make their feelings known to the horde of journalists who were waiting for the post-match conference.

Military policemen and anti-riot policemen, who were part of the heavy security arrangements put in place for the match, however, stopped the irate fans from entering the VIP Lounge.

Another group of fans also broke down part of the wire fence near the Upper Terrace turnstiles, as they were moving out of the stadium, to show their anger.

But some of them were still able to make their feelings known to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in separate interviews, with many of them calling for Siasia's sack.

"Now Nigerians have seen the difference, after they sacked Amodu Shaibu and refused to take either Stephen Keshi or Augustine Eguavoen.

"Siasia has failed us; he should just go and give way before we fail to qualify for the 2014 World Cup," an Abuja-based fan, Henry Akalonu, said.

Gbenga Ogunmuyiwa, a Keffi-based businessman, said that the Nigeria Football Association (NFA) should remove Siasia.

He said: "The coach's hardline stance led him to fall out with many of his players, thereby leading to disunity in the team.

"It is clear that the players are not happy with him. This is the result of his decision to always go hard on them.

"If he had not had problems with Osaze Odemwingie, Vincent Enyeama and Mikel Obi, we could have had a better team to beat Guinea," Ogunmuyiwa said.

NANreports that Bangoura Ismael had given Guinea the lead in the 54th minute to dampen the fans' morale, while Obinna Nsofor drew level in the 63rd minute to raise hopes.

Substitute Ikechukwu Uche scored in the 78th minute to put the Eagles in line for qualification, only for the sloppy defending that led to the equaliser.

Traore Ibrahima sliced through tired-looking Eagles defenders in the fifth minute of added six minutes in the second half to draw level and put Guinea solidly on its way to the Nations Cup.


Related stories: Samson Siasia apologizes for Super Eagles Nations Cup exit

Nigeria's Super Eagles fail to qualify for Nations Cup

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