Stay Off South Africa – Bafana Bafana Fans Threaten Eagles’ Keeper Nwabali


BY VICTOR OSOWOCHI – Following his impressive showing against Bafana Bafana in the semi-finals of the ongoing Africa Nations Cup tournament in Cote d’Ivoire, some South African football fans have reportedly threatened Super Eagles’ goalkeeper Stanley Nwabali, to stay away from their country.

Reports, though unconfirmed, said Nwabali, who plies his trade for Chippa United in South Africa, obviously gave the aggrieved fans a bitter pill to swallow with his heroics in the penalty shootouts that saw him stopping two important kicks to gift Nigeria a final ticket against host nation, Ivory Coast.

Before the high-tensioned game, Nwabali’s club side, Chippa United had thrown their support behind him and the Super Eagles in a move that sparked outrage among some angry supporters of Bafana Bafana

Now embittered by Nwabali’s standout performance against their country, the angry fans reportedly warned him against returning to his club after the continental championship.

Speaking about the alleged threats on Channels Television Thursday, South Africa-based ex-international, Idah Peterside hinted that some fans have warned the Super Eagles’ safe hands to jettison the idea of returning to Chippa United for his role in sending South Africa packing from this year’s AFCON in such a painful manner.

Though the threat has not been officially reported, some social media comments have continued to blame Bafana Bafana’s woes and eventual exit from the competition on Nwabali whose performance on the night kept the team from late Nelson Mandela country at bay and prevented them from reaching the finals.

According to Peterside, a former Super Eagles goalkeeper in his playing days, said; “The biggest problem we have presently is having gotten some information where people have sent messages to the goalkeeper threatening him.

“I hear some people are telling him not to come back to South Africa since you didn’t want us to score. We have not heard of any violence. but just threats. They have been threatening him and threatening some people.”

Nwabali showcased his prowess during the semi-final clash against Bafana Bafana, making crucial saves during regulation time and stopping two penalties during the shootout.

Meanwhile, reports emerging from the camp of Premier Socer League (PSL) club, Chippa United indicate that in a strategic move to prevent the 27-year-old goaltender from quitting the side unceremoniously, the management has upped his transfer fee to commensurate with what they described as “Nwabali’s worth’ going forward.

It was gathered that the Port Elizabeth-based club has raised the keeper’s transfer fee to an estimated fee of about ₤2 million with the primary objective behind the increase being to secure the most valuable deal possible in the event of potential interest from other clubs after the AFCON tournament.
Already, sources close to the Nigerian camp in Cote d’Ivoire, who hailed Nwabali as having solved Nigeria’s search for reliable safe hands between the post, said several interests are coming from clubs, including PSL giants, Kaizer Chiefs, currently seeking competition for their veteran goalkeeper, Itumeleng Khune.

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