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Opinion: The Ugly Side of the beautiful game, How African players went through bullying

Opinion: The Ugly Side of the beautiful game, How African players went through bullying

Imamshafi Lukman

Football is known to be a game of either win or lose but that is not the case for some spectators and football fans, many believe that the team they are supporting must always win, and by not winning, break hearts and remain in pain, which many can hide the pain and wait for another raining day while some take the lose as theirs and have to quarrel with the players and put down the blame and aggression on every single individual with low performance and minimum energy on the pitch.

This brings about many scenarios throughout the just concluded African Cup Of Nations, AFCON 2023 that took place in Ivory Coast in January and February 2024, it was a big slap on the Confederation of Africa Football, CAF for not taking necessary actions and measures to restrain both physical and cyberbullying.

Ghana goalkeeper, Richard Ofori, and the Ayew brothers Andre and Jordan were singled out by the fans for bullying and criticism, while other fans comforted Mohammed Kudus, who scored a brace against Egypt.

Many fans were covered in a viral video smashing the bus conveying the players after a loss to Cape Verde and also a Ghanaian journalist, Chris Hughton was caught in a video yelling at the team manager and insulting him.

Also, many Nigerians through the internet were bullying Alex Iwobi putting all the fault on him, and holding him responsible for the team’s loss.

Phillip Moses, a Nigerian music producer who is popularly known as Pheelz posted a video on his Instagram page, this video contains a record of Iwobi’s IG page with a background sound saying ‘Iwobi page doesn’t seem like a player’s page, just flex and flex only.

Tunde Ednut after the Super Eagle faced defeat in the AFCON final against Ivory Coast went to social media to ridicule Iwobi with his insensitive caption “ Iwobi is out, Thank you, Lord” which led to Iwobi deleting posts on his Instagram page and left him downcast emotionally.

Many Nigerians both players and fans came out protecting him and calling out every individual to stop the bullying but CAF only said “ No to bullying, We say no to discrimination, We are all here together.” of which there is no action to curb the miserable acts.

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