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Pandemonium at the Moshood Abiola Stadium: An unforgetable experience

For your Ghanaian fans that travelled from Ghana to Abuja for last Tuesday's Planet Cup play-off second leg, the requirement must have already been a memorable experience. Then when prayer was said on the flight asking for God's travelling grace, as well as a peaceful and successful game, never did the about 120 Ghanaian enthusiasts and journalists aboard the Asky airplane ever envisage a chaotic conclusion to a vintage Dark Stars performance. As a result, it was with joy when after approximately one hours and half of pull off the pilot's voice from the communication system emerged in clear leading passengers to locking mechanism their seat devices when he started out to descend into the airspace of Abuja. This, the whole passengers, nearly all of who was simply vocal singing along the quest, wilfully obliged.

Even as we disembarked and checked out into the yet-to-be-completed Nnamdi Azikiwe Air-port for the migration formalities, one could visibly visit a country in high nature ready to refuse the Black Superstars the chance to reply to the roll call at Qatar 2022. Everywhere at the airport the assurance of Nigeria successful the game could almost be handled as immigration workers and other guests kept taunting the Ghanaian supporter with prediction favourable to the host. That was clear the spirit of the complete nation was coming back behind their team but the not bearable heat that welcome us as we made our way out of the airport got us thinking whether our players could make it through playing under this condition knowing well they were all via European club sets the place that the weather was somewhat cold at this time of the year.

Each of our journey out of the Abuja Air port to Ghana's Excessive Commission was simple except for the clear noticeable fancy dress costumes of some of the supporters which easily gave people out as readers and supporters of the Black Megastars. On our way to the arena little did we can say that the heavy people and vehicular traffic heading towards the direction of the Moshood Abiola Arena and shouting 'Ghana must go' on the sight of our bus was an indication of an hostile reception that awaited us. Without a doubt, the Nigerian enthusiasts did not dissatisfy in creating that intimidating atmosphere at the stadium. Periodically, with no provocation they will deliberately spread water and chuck empty bottles at the Black Superstars supporters.

Gradually, this shameless act became intensive after an army of followers had overpowered the safety and pressured their way into the already filled-to-capacity stadium ignoring advice not to go near Black Superstars supporters. Every " of space in the stadium was occupied by the Nigerian fans, including the alley intended for easy range of motion. Booing of Ghanaian players was one of the strategies they adopted and since if it was premeditated, the 62, 000-capacity stadium engulfed with a high in volume boo when the Black Stars appeared from the tube for the warm up and yes it extended anytime Ghana were in possession of the ball during the match.

Each of our ordeal started after Thomas Partey won the opening goal. The deafening peaceful atmosphere from the Nigerians was louder than the celebration from the Ghanaian lovers which angered them to further put water, pelt people with bottles and other objects. This is supposed to be a warning sign to law enforcement nonetheless they failed to stand for they appeared more considering the game than their job at the arena. Not really grievances from the Ghanaian supporters to the police would cause any intervention because they knew they may easily be weighed down by the around double capacity of spectators at the stadium. While these folks were at it, the Black Stars proponents remained unwavering just to be spared the ordeal when Nigeria got the equaliser. Perhaps that was to achieve the Ghanaians a brief respite.

Concerning 10 minutes to full time when it was getting difficult for the Super Eagles to find the much needed goal, it started again when the Ghanaian lovers were then put through to fierce and rampant pelting of bottles and other objects. They were rather irked by the Ghana team's decision to run towards the lovers to show thanks following your final whistle. At this moment they were not spared either as the things and water wine bottles flew from all directions. Soon an army of the disappointed home lovers begun invading the pitch and players had to quickly run towards the dressing room.

By simply the minutes the crowd was getting thicker with some rushing towards the Ghana supporters. That was at this point that the Nigeria security chose to open the lining perimeter gateway to allow for the Ghana supporters onto the pitch. We possessed to run for the dear lives as they hunted down us on the pitch to the access of the tunnel kicking and throwing object at us from all angles in disobedient of the many tear gas cast at them until we disappeared into the tunnel.

Seeking very exhausted we sort refuge in the uncomfortable and baking tunnel leading to the players' dressing room; we looked all condensed with sweat and where the result of the split gas begun realizing in some lovers commenced coughing continuously and spat the actual burning sensation in their throat. Over one and 50 % hours, we were kept in the tunnel while the players were secured up in the dressing room waiting around for the fans to disperse to allow us to come out.

It was in the tube which we saw an ambulance and paramedic endeavoring to resuscitate a collapsed official but rushing him to a healthcare service when their hard work proved unsuccessful. The particular actual electricity situation in Nigeria my worse fear was what would happen if power to the stadium was cut. Just when this was experiencing my mind the power went off leaving the whole canal dark but luckily it was refurbished a few minutes later. After proceeding through this frightening moment and position for 90 minutes to watch the overall game and additional one and half hrs in the very uncomfortable tunnel, we were ushered out there into our vehicles.

With relief, we headed to the airport. This experience will forever stay indelible on my mind. A few of the followers vowed not to step foot to Nigeria for any football competition.


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