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AFCON 2023: Nigerians in South Africa Warned of Potential Threats Ahead of Eagles, Bafana semi-final clash 



Super Eagles vs South Africa

While the Africa Cup of Nations semi-final tie between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and South Africa’s Bafana Bafana will be taking place thousands of miles away in Bouake, Cote d’Ivoire, there are fears the outcome may have impacts on the streets of Pretoria and beyond.

In this light, the Nigeria High Commission in South Africa had raised the alarm over possible threats to Nigerians in the Rainbow Nation.

Keen on their safety and well-being, the Commission has issued an advisory warning Nigerians to be cautious before, during and after Wednesday’s semi-final game.

Advisory to Nigerians in South Africa

In an advisory issued by the High Commission in Pretoria, the embassy states:

“The attention of the Nigeria High Commission  Pretoria has been drawn to potentially inflammatory online comments made by a section of South African citizens against Nigerians living in the host country, largely influenced by the upcoming 2024 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) semi-final match between the Super Eagles and the Bafana Bafana on Wednesday 7th February 2024.

Nigerians in South Africa

“Most of the comments consist of veiled threats against “Nigerians cooking jollof  rice” before the match, and “showing pepper to Nigerians if Bafana Bafana lose to the Super Eagles”, among others.

“In this regard, the High Commission hereby advises the Nigerian community to be watchful of their utterances, be mindful of where they choose to watch the match especially in public places, and refrain from engaging in loud. riotous or provocative celebrations should the Super Eagles win the match.

“Additionally, Nigerians should maintain the  good conduct they are known for, and be law abiding before, during and after !he match. Should any provocations arise, they should not be reciprocated but reported to the appropriate authorities.”

Dark past

Over the last two decades, there have been numerous documented incidents of violence and discrimination targeting foreigners especially Nigerians living in South Africa. 

In 2008, at least 60 Nigerians were reportedly killed and thousands displaced during widespread xenophobic attacks. 

Similar outbreaks occurred in 2015 and 2019 which also led to loss of lives, properties and displacement of many Nigerians.

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