In a twist following the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) semifinal, Super Eagles goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali finds himself in the spotlight not just for his outstanding saves but also for receiving threats from South African fans.
Despite his performance securing Nigeria’s victory over Bafana Bafana, Nwabali’s heroics have sparked discontent among some South African supporters.
Former Super Eagles international, Idah Peterside, disclosed the unsettling turn of events during a recent interview on Channels Television.
Peterside shared that Nwabali had been subjected to intimidating messages, cautioning him against returning to his club, Chippa United, in South Africa following the conclusion of the AFCON tournament.
“The biggest problem we have had is that we have gotten some messages where people have sent messages to the goalkeeper threatening him,” Peterside revealed. “I hear some people are telling him not to come back to South Africa since you didn’t want us to score. We have not heard of any violence, but just threats. They have been threatening him and threatening some people.”
Nwabali’s exceptional performance during the semifinal clash included crucial saves during regulation time and stopping two penalties during the shootout. However, it seems that his success on the field has triggered a backlash from a faction of South African fans who perhaps expected a different outcome.
The threats directed towards Nwabali serve as a stark reminder of the intense emotions and rivalries often associated with football competitions, transcending mere sporting contests.
While the goalkeeper’s focus remains on his team’s success in the tournament, the unsettling nature of the threats underscores the broader societal implications intertwined with the beautiful game.