February 21, 2024

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AFCON 2023: How Nigerians faced intimidation, ticket hoarding, threats in Ivory Coast

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The 2023 Africa Cup of Nations may have come and gone, but some of the stories that happened behind the scenes are beginning to emerge.

The tournament ended on Sunday with the host nation Ivory Coast defeating Nigeria 2-1 in the final.

There was nothing controversial about the victory, as the Elephants came out fighting with every fibre of their muscles for the trophy in front of President Alassane Ouattara and thousands of vociferous fans.

However, every time the camera spanned around the stadium, you could not help but wonder why there were scarcely Super Eagles’ supporters.

Some fans travelled to Ivory Coast specifically to watch the final and support Jose Peseiro’s men. Getting tickets proved to be harder than a camel going through the eye of a needle.

This was revealed by Ovie Ofugara, the CEO of music website, NotJustOk in a tweet on Saturday.

“#AFCON2023 final tickets are more scarce than Bigfoot right now. Almost easier to catch a solar eclipse.

“CAF and the Ivorian organizing committee really bungled this one.

“The only blemish on what has been an otherwise excellent tournament,” Ovie wrote.

For Ayoola Ajuwon, the General Manager, 21st Century Evolution Systems LTD, getting tickets was not as hard.

“For me, it was easy. Obviously tickets got sold out on CAF website, but people still had and hoarded so I’ll say it was tough for a lot of people especially Nigerians coming on Saturday.

“We got for 500USD, but others got way more expensive. It was all down to your source,” Ajuwon tells DAILY POST.

The hard part for him was now getting into the stadium.

“The trip to the stadium was long. In hindsight, we should have left home around 3:30pm or 4pm.

“We drove for 1hr and we were told to park and join the shuttle which was OK, then a 1km or a little more walk.

“The organization looked good until we got to the gates.

“It was a disaster from that point. Nothing to write home about. This is supposed to be the biggest game in African football,” Ajuwon lamented.

After the game, the intimidation and threats continued.

“I think CAF needs to do better. Even though we lost the match, the home fans threatened us.

“I got back to my lodge without wearing cloth. Just imagine we won,” Popular punter, Boss Olamilekan, wrote on X.

Interestingly, there will be another AFCON in 2025 and it will be hosted by Morocco.

North Africans are notorious for their wily ways and CAF would need to address some of these issues that happened in Ivory Coast ahead of that tournament next year.



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