Soccer
07.02.2024, 07:51
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Tension Rises Ahead of Nigeria vs South Africa Match at Africa Cup of Nations

Tension Rises Ahead of Nigeria vs South Africa Match at Africa Cup of Nations

Ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations semi-final match on Wednesday, tensions have escalated between Nigeria and South Africa. The Nigerian High Commission in South Africa has cautioned Nigerian fans, urging them to avoid exuberant celebrations in the event of a victory by their team. This precaution aims to avert potential xenophobic backlash from disappointed South African fans.

However, South Africa has dismissed these concerns as "unnecessary alarm." The rivalry between the football powerhouses, the Super Eagles of Nigeria and Bafana Bafana of South Africa, is well-known. Yet, South Africa's Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) stated on Tuesday that South Africans have no history of football-related violence in matches against Nigeria. Dirco stressed that South African fans pose no danger to Nigerians and criticized the advisory for fostering undue stress and worry among the people of both nations.

South Africa's response comes amidst a backdrop of recent xenophobic violence in the country, targeting African migrants seeking better livelihoods. Conversely, Nigeria's advisory was prompted by online threats perceived from South Africans, advising Nigerians in South Africa to remain cautious, avoid public viewing areas for the match, and keep celebrations low-key should the Super Eagles emerge victorious.

The match is scheduled for 17:00 GMT on Wednesday in Bouaké, Ivory Coast, with Ivory Coast and the Democratic Republic of Congo competing in the other semi-final match. Nigeria has not yet replied to South Africa's rebuttal.

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