Saturday’s week 38 Nigeria Professional Football League match between Gombe Utd and Wikki Tourists FC of Bauchi, ended abruptly in Gombe as fans turned violent, protesting an own-goal by the home team.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Gombe Utd fans, already feeling aggrieved over the poor performance of their club, went berserk when, in the 22nd minute of play, a header by the team’s player, Morris Chigozie, hit the back of his club’s net.
Mr. Chigozie, a central defender, had sent a back header to his goalie, meant for a pass, but the goalkeeper, Danjuma Husaini, was caught napping.
Already bottled up with anger, the fans saw the own goal as ‘deliberate arrangement’, aimed at making Wikki escape relegation, as such they started throwing sachet water and some substances into the field of play.
NAN reports that the ugly scenario deteriorated, forcing security agents to use teargas before securing the players and match official, who were hurriedly ferried out of the stadium to safety, thus ending the match abruptly.
Journalists that covered the match had their share of the violence as the windscreen of the car of one of their colleagues was smashed.
At the time the match was abandoned, Wikki were leading by the lone goal inadvertently scored by Utd’s central defender.