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Osimhen to Nigerians: Criticise footballers constructively… we’re humans too

Victor Osimhen has urged Nigerians to be fair in their criticism of Super Eagles players. 

The 2023 African Footballer of the Year spoke on Tuesday after the members of the Super Eagles were hosted by President Bola Tinubu.

On Sunday, Nigeria lost 2-1 to the Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire in the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) final held at the Olympic Stadium, Ebimpe, Abidjan.

Nigeria took the lead in the match after William Troost-Ekong scored a powerful header in the first half, but Franck Kessie and Sebastien Haller scored in the second half for the Ivorians.

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After the match, Alex Iwobi was targeted by trolls on social media who accused him of putting out a poor performance at the tournament.

The backlash worsened as the Fulham FC midfielder deleted almost all his Instagram posts.

Reacting to the situation, Ahmed Musa, the Super Eagles captain, had to call on Nigerians to stop “cyberbullying” his teammate, adding that Iwobi “gave his all on the field, just like every member of our squad”.

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Adding his voice to support Iwobi, Osimhen said fans must realise footballers are humans also and “sometimes we make mistakes”.

He added that the online on Iwobi is “not good,” adding that the player’s mental health should be considered.

“It is really sad, but happening for the past two weeks now. But of course, you will see there is a big solidarity in the team. And I urge Nigerians that cyberbullying is [bad],” the Napoli striker said.

“Because we are also human. Sometimes we make mistakes. Sometimes, we have a good game, and we’ll get the hype. But of course, when you criticise, you have to be constructive when doing this type of thing. I think, to be fair, what they have done to Alex is out of this world, and it is not good.

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“They should also look at his mental health because there are some of us who can take this to heart and then keep on grinding. And there are some of us that he still gets to go ahead, and they will lose focus, and we lose form. So, I think we are rallying around him; we have spoken to him individually and collectively. So I think he’s a strong dude ready to continue giving his all for his nation.”

Earlier, Tinubu honoured every member of the silver medal-winning squad with a Member of the Order of Niger (MON). He also granted a plot of land in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) and a flat to each of them for their feat at the just concluded competition.

 

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