Lukman Escapes Fans’ Attack In Benin


For allegedly losing a penalty during Saturday’s All Africa Games qualifying match between Nigeria’s U-23 team and their Equatorial Guinea counterparts at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin, Edo State, skipper of Nigeria’s team Haruna Lukman was almost lynched by angry football fans.

The soccer fans wanted to vent their anger on the AS Monaco of France playmaker for denying Nigeria the opportunity to complete the routing of the visitors, who were drubbed by the coach Austin Eguavoen led team.

Lukman, who captained Nigeria’s U-17 team, the Golden Eaglets, to win the South Korea 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup had barely left the media centre  after the post-match conference, before the fans descended on him, but he was rescued by a combined team of the Nigeria Police Force and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.

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The fans were angry that Lukman denied Nigeria the chance to complete the routing of the Guineans, who were outplayed during the duration of the encounter, which ended 5-0 in favour of Nigeria.

Goals from Granada of Spain striker, Odion Ighalo, Lukman, a brace from Lillestrom of Norway’s Nosa Igiebor and Warri Wolves of Nigeria forward, Ekigho Ehiosun were all Nigeria needed to move a step closer to the All Africa Games, which holds in September 2011.

—Adebobola  Alawode/Benin