Super Eagles of Nigeria goalkeeper, Maduka Okoye, and Nigerian forward, Alex Iwobi have disabled their Instagram comment section after suffering a series of attacks from Nigerians after the country’s national team crashed out of the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations.
On Sunday, January 23, Nigeria met Tunisia in the AFCON 2021 round of 16 game. Before the game, the Super Eagles of Nigeria were rated favorites to win the tournament after recording 3 successive victories in the tournament’s group stage.
It was supposed to be fortunate that they were paired against Tunisia which finished 3rd in their group and made it to the next round as best losers, but it was the contrary that happened.
In the second half of the game, Tunisia’s Youssef Mskani was left unmarked close to Nigeria’s penalty box. The Tunisian star attempted a shot and Maduka Okoye who ought to stop the ball, manage to touch the ball before it found itself into the net.
After the goal, Nigeria tried to come back to the game but could not do much. In the 59th minute, Alex Iwobi replaced Kelechi Iheanacho to turn the game around but things went from bad to worse.
Minutes after Iwobi got into the game, he was involved in a challenge with Mskani. After the challenge, the referee showed him a yellow card. Afterward, the VAR called the referee to have a review of the challenge and it was concluded that Iwobi intentionally stepped on Mskani’s right ankle. Hence, the referee sent Iwobi off in the 66th minute.
After a series of efforts to salvage the situation, Tunisia knocked out Nigeria with a lone goal.
Due to how painful the defeat was to most fans of the Super Eagles of Nigeria, the fans stormed on the Instagram pages of Maduka Okoye and Alex Iwobi to attack them. The fans used or manner of humiliating words to express their anger.
The online abuses especially those directed to Maduka Okoye became so severe that the two players had to disable their Instagram pages’ comment section. As at last check, the comment section of their Instagram pages was still disabled.
Maduka Okoye is currently on loan at a Dutch club Sparta Rotterdam. Before he joined the Super Eagles of Nigeria for the 2021 AFCON, he made 17 appearances in which he conceded 23 goals and recorded three clean sheets.
The 22-year-old Nigerian goalkeeper is expected to return to relegation-threatened Premier League club Watford at the end of the 2021-2022 season.
As for Iwobi, he is currently contracted to Everton. He has played 15 times in all competitions for Everton before he joined Nigeria for the 2021 AFCON. He has scored two goals and provided an assist so far this season.
The contract of the 25-year-old Nigerian winger at Everton would expire on June 30, 2024.