Nigeria vs Zambia match: No one died, at least six injured, Police, Akwa Ibom govt say

Akwa Ibom new ultramodern stadium
Akwa Ibom new ultramodern stadium

The Police in Akwa Ibom State have stated that six persons were injured Saturday in Uyo during the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier between Nigeria and Zambia.

The Nigeria Super Eagles defeated the Chipolopolo of Zambia 1-0 to become the first African country to qualify for the World Cup which will be hosted by Russia.

The police spokesperson in the state, Bala Elkana, told PREMIUM TIMES on Sunday afternoon that there was a stampede at the entrance gate of the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium when football enthusiasts were rushing to enter the stadium while the match was going on.

“You know we had a large turnout of people yesterday because of the nature of the match,” said Mr. Elkana, a deputy superintendent of police. “We have people who didn’t have tickets and they were also rushing to enter the stadium”.

Mr. Elkana said six persons sustained injuries during the stampede and that three persons were taken to the hospital.

The police spokesperson said that a report by Punch newspaper report that five persons died in the stampede was false.

“If you look at the Punch report you’ll see where the reporter quoted me as saying that nobody died, but he still went ahead to maliciously publish that five persons died,” he said, adding that nobody died in the stampede.

“In a text message the Punch reporter sent to me, he said he was told that five persons died. But in the story he wrote he said that he witnessed five persons died,” Mr. Elkana said.

The Akwa Ibom State government, which also said the report of the deaths was false, however, said that nine persons were injured during the stampede.

“There were nine people injured during the incident and all of them were taken to the hospital for treatment,” the Commissioner for Information in the state, Charles Udoh, said in a statement he issued on Sunday as a reaction to the Punch report.

“The Godswill Akpabio International Stadium is probably the best-maintained sporting facility in Nigeria today and has no history of poor crowd control as maliciously posited in the report.

“We are dismayed that such a report, which has a high potency of painting a negative picture of not only Akwa Ibom but Nigeria as a country, was published without verifying the facts.

“It is instructive to note that the Nigeria vs Zambia match was a FIFA organised match and mischievous insinuations as contained in the said report could easily lead to Nigeria being sanctioned,” Mr. Udoh said.


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  • tsunami1earthquake

    Our reporters from all sections of the media must be responsible in their reporting! This kind of idiotic reporting led the federal government to the verge of passing draconian laws against the media. If this kind of law should come, this same idiotic media organizations would begin to shout foul!

    Nigerian media organizations, please check yourselves! Be responsible! Be intelligent in your reportage!

  • packingson

    i commend the Nigeria police, i mean those mobile police guys whose only God knows how they arrested the situation by forcing to close the gate after like ten minute during the ugly incident [special promotion for their gallantry], but before u know some ultimate price have been paid which i consider myself would be a possible casualty there that fateful day. and blame them as well because they fail to do the needful, 4: 15pm-4: 30pm that fateful day was not right to lock the gate against the over 5000k fans crying for entry. the number of policemen at that gate was few and overwhelmed, i could read from their faces that they were tired and hungry, probably they were there since morning, a good number of them were inside the stadium. another thing is that the crocodile gun-truck should not have been five feet from the one wing gate entrance that these few policemen were able to open and do their routine checkup which should have been commendable if they were many to open more wings and do the job with ease, though i commend their presence but that position should have been police van because the police would want to use the van at that point to control the cloud but being those men there, they never move or say anything,men of impeccable character or thinking of helping anybody this kind of men were not needed there.