Wednesday, February 7, 2024, was a joyous day for Nigerians as they celebrated their victory against the Bafana Bafana of South Africa in the AFCON.

Unfortunately, that joy was short lived, as reports of deaths began springing up and spreading across the internet.


At least four persons died on that day.

AFCON Semi-final: Sanwo-Olu Sets Up Football Viewing Centres In Lagos
AFCON Semi-final: Sanwo-Olu Sets Up Football Viewing Centres In Lagos

They died while watching the semi-final match between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and Bafana Bafana of South Africa, in the ongoing 2023 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Cote D’Ivoire.


The Victims

The deceased include a chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Cairo Ojougboh.

A Deputy Bursar of Kwara State University, Malete, Ayuba Abdullahi and a corps member serving in Adamawa State, simply identified as Samuel, were also victims.


An Anambra-born businessman, Osondu Nwoye, based in Cote d’Ivoire and a sales rep in Abeokuta, also died.

That match ended with a penalty shoot-out which the Super Eagles won, yet the tension was unbearable for some.

How They Died

Cairo Ojougboh

Ojougboh is an erstwhile member representing the Ika Federal Constituency of Delta State in the House of Representatives and a former Executive Director, of Projects, on the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

He slumped in his house in Abuja while watching the match.


According to sources, the politician slumped when a penalty kick was awarded against Nigeria during the match.

That penalty gave the South Africans an equaliser.


He was said to have suffered a heart attack and was confirmed dead at a hospital he was rushed to.

Ayuba Abdullahi

Abdullahi is the Deputy Bursar of Kwara State University. Also, he is one of the Nigerians who died while watching the semi-final match of AFCON.

Sources close to the deceased, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Abdullahi went to a viewing centre in the Sango area before he started feeling unease.

One of the sources said: “The deputy bursar watched the Nigeria/South Africa match from the beginning till the end of the extra time.

“He continued till it was time for penalty kicks.”

“He complained that he was feeling dizzy, so he said he needed to go back home and rest, not knowing that his BP had gone up.

“On getting home, he collapsed and was rushed to a private hospital in Sango.
He was referred to the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital but died before he could be attended to.”

“He was buried yesterday morning, according to Islamic rites.”

Samuel, The Corper

The young man who was an NYSC Corp member, also died during the penalty shootouts of the match.

The corps member from Kaduna State passed away just before the final kick which secured Nigeria’s win in the match.

A post by the NYSC read: “We lost one Nigerian during our victory celebration over South Africa at our sports viewing centre here in Numan.

“The corps member who is serving in Numan from Kaduna State fainted before the kick of the winning goal.

“He died before they could reach the hospital in Numan. May his soul rest in peace”.

Osondu Nwoye

It was reported that the billionaire died in Ivory Coast stadium while watching the match.

Nwoye was said to be the richest Igbo businessman based in Ivory Coast before his death.

A Facebook user, Chukwudi Iwuchukwu, in a post on Thursday, quoted a witness as saying that Nwoye was on top of the moon.

He was shouting at the top of his voice when Nigerian striker, Victor Osihmen, scored the second goal.

Sadly, that goal was later cancelled by the Video Assistant Referee, VAR.

The shock of seeing the goal cancelled led to his heart attack.

He was immediately rushed to the hospital but all efforts to revive him failed as he was pronounced dead.

Osundiji, The Sales Rep

Also, a sales representative who works with one of the multi-national manufacturing companies in Nigeria, Nestle, died while watching the match in Abeokuta.

The 43-year-old Nigerian man, identified as Mikail Osundiji, allegedly died as a result of shock in the semi-final of AFCON.

This was after the centre referee cancelled Nigeria’s second goal against South Africa.
The goal was scored by striker Victor Osimhen.

A penalty was awarded against the Super Eagles thereafter.

Also Read: How AFCON Semi-finals Killed Adamawa NYSC Member

An elder sister to the deceased, Adetunji Nofisat, said that Osundiji suddenly breathed out heavily after the cancellation of Nigeria’s second goal.

He lowered his head and consequently fell to the ground at the viewing centre.

“That was when other people at the viewing centre rushed to him and took him to one of the private hospitals in Olomoore where the doctor on duty pronounced him dead,” she said.

May the soul of Nigerians who died during AFCON semi-final game rest in peace.


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