Members of the Nigeria national Football team, the Super Eagles were attacked shortly after their Sunday Victory as Ethiopian youths threw pebbles and stones on them as they traveled in their official vehicle along Addis Ababa roads in Ethiopia.
Midfielder Nosa Igiebor was unlucky as the team came under ferocious attack just as they left the venue of the match after walloping Walya Antelopes 2-1 in Addis Ababa on Sunday in the first leg World Cup playoff. He suffered massive hand cut as pebbles pierced through the back windscreen of the team’s official vehicle.
The Eagles defeated the Walya Antelopes 2-1 at the Addis Ababa Stadium to take a three-point advantage to the return match in Calabar on November 16.
In a statement on Monday, spokesman for the Eagles Ben Alaiya said the fans attacked the bus conveying the Eagles to their hotel after the game with stones and shattered its rear windscreen.
“(Real Betis player) Nosa Igiebor was the unlucky one as the stones slashed his right palm leading to profuse bleeding that was immediately attended to by team doctor, Ibrahim Gyaran.”
Alaiya said the Nigeria Football Federation reported the incident to the FIFA Security team at the match venue for the encounter.
“We hope FIFA will take an action,” Umeh told BBC Sport.
“It’s a shame that such an embarrassing behaviour could happen after a football match.”
The NFF also accused the Ethiopians of maltreating the Nigerian supporters at the stadium on match day.
“Matters came to a head on match day, when bottles were hauled at Nigerian players and supporters when the Ethiopians thought that they had scored an opener in the first half,” Alaiya said.
However, the NFF insisted that the Ethiopians would not be maltreated when they visit Calabar for the return leg in November.
Unconfirmed reports said some Nigerians resident in the North-East African country were also attacked and their business centres destroyed by the protesters.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian delegation to the Addis Ababa arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja at about 4.30am on Monday.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, the Nigeria Football Federation President, Alhaji Aminu Maigari, led the team back home.
NAN reports that while most of the foreign-based players connected flights immediately back to their bases in Europe, the domestic league players returned to the country.
Some National Assembly members, including the Senate Committee Chairman on Sports, Adamu Gumba, and his House of Representatives counterpart, Godfrey Gaiya, were in the entourage that arrived with the team.
Others were officials of the National Sports Commission, the Nigeria Football Supporters’ Club, as well as the management and secretariat staff of the NFF.
Media representatives were also in the 263-man delegation that made the trip.