NFF Executive Committee member and Chairman of the Nigerian National League, High Chief Emeka Inyama, on Monday recalled his bitter treatment at the hands of Ivorien football fans in his hey days as a journalist with the then wave-making SportsLink Newspapers.
Inyama, who was at the training session of the Eagles on Monday evening recalled an encounter in the run-up to Nigeria’s qualification for the USA 94 World Cup, when he was beaten black and blue and even left for dead by Ivorien fans because he dared to take pictures of Nigeria’s first goal by Late Rashidid Yekini, in that famous 2-1 defeat of the Eagles.
Hear Inyama who is also the Chairman of the NFF Media Committee, “Somebody simply pointed at me and said the beep I was wearing contains juju and before you know it they had swooped on me and beaten me to a pulp and took me for dead. Only the timely intervention of the then Nigerian Ambassador in Cote D’Ivoire saved my life.”
Inyama als recalled how former Iwuayanwu Nationale of Owerri coach, Alphonsus Dike, was red carded during a Champions Cup match against Asec Mimosas also in Abidjan and when he went to the stands he was traced there and viciously hacked on the forehead by a lady with the tip of her shoes which led to the coach bleeding profusely. “It could have been disastorus but for quick medical attention”.
He therefore warned the Super Eagles to be wary of the antics and evil plots of the Ivoriens in the return leg on Saturday.
“In some cases they can bring masqurades to your hotel and they will be singing and dancing till the following day so that the players won’t sleep well. They can even flood your hotel with prostitutes just in a desperate bid to distract the team and its officials, so we must be careful”, Inyama was quoted as saying by Eagles Spokesman Ben Alaiya.