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Kenneth Omeruo reveals dark side of Nigerian football after AFCON 2023 final loss

by Thomaz Oseghale
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Kenneth Omeruo reveals dark side of Nigerian football after AFCON 2023 final loss

Kenneth Omeruo, the Super Eagles and Kasimpasa central defender, has recently shed light on another incident of a Nigerian player receiving death threats. Ola Aina, the Nottingham Forest full-back, became the target of these threats following Nigeria’s loss in the AFCON 2023 final.

Omeruo, who has been a member of the Nigerian football team since 2013, expressed his disappointment with the extreme reactions of some Nigerian fans after the defeat. In an interview with Arise TV, he revealed the unsettling message that was sent to Aina on Instagram: “I hope you die.”

These incidents of cyberbullying have had a significant impact on the players’ morale and even their availability for future matches. Omeruo mentioned the case of Maduka, who couldn’t honor the call-up due to the bullying he faced after the 2022 incident. He also highlighted the importance of players like Aina, who performed exceptionally well throughout the tournament, but faced harsh criticism after one bad game.

The central defender emphasized the need for players to develop a thick skin and rise above the negativity. He also urged fans to consider the consequences of their actions and to support the team even in defeat. Omeruo believes that winning matches is the best way to silence the critics and prevent such incidents from happening in the future.

Looking ahead, Omeruo is determined to help the Super Eagles qualify for the 2026 FIFA World Cup after narrowly missing out on the 2022 edition. His focus is on uniting the team and ensuring that they remain resilient in the face of adversity.

This article was updated 2 months ago

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