Not less than nine football spectators were injured in the weekend match between Super Eagles of Nigeria and their Zambian counterparts.
Confirming the number of those who sustained one form of injury or the other, the State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Charles Udoh who also debunked a report alleging that five persons were dead said that the “report is false and tainted with malice”.
Explaining further, Mr. Udo said that there was a rush by spectators who arrived the venue after the match had started, trying to gain entrance into the stadium which led to a few of them sustaining minor injuries.
“There were 9 people injured during the incident and all of them were taken to the hospital for treatment while no life was lost. This much was confirmed by the Akwa Ibom State Police Public Relations Officer and the Commissioner for Health”.
He stated that 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.
“It is on record that Akwa Ibom State is reputed as being; not only a peaceful state but a safe and secure state with credible leadership which is one of the reasons why the state has; in the last 18 months, been listed by the National Bureau of Statistics as the 2nd largest Foreign Direct Investment Destination in Nigeria”
Udoh added that the State Government is dismayed that such a report; “which has a high potency of painting a negative picture of not only Akwa Ibom but Nigeria as country, was published without verifying the facts. It is instructive to note that the Nigeria vs Zambia match was a FIFA organized match and mischievous insinuations as contained in the said report could easily lead to Nigeria being sanctioned”.
It would be recalled that a report was published (not by The Sensor) alleging that Five people were killed, dozens unconscious, while others sustained serious injury trying to gain entrance into Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. The report also had it that some fans were beaten by soldiers at the gates of the stadium with heavy sticks and suddenly fell unto the ground where the rampaging crowd stepped over them.