The Minister of Sports Development, Sen. John Owan Enoh has strongly condemned the cyber bullying of Super Eagles midfielder Alex Iwobi at the end of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON, in Cote d’Ivoire.
Credible News reports that the Fulham FC of England star has been subjected to trolling on social media, with some fans blaming him for Nigeria’s defeat to Cote d’Ivoire in Sunday’s AFCON final.
The minister described such acts as uncalled for and assured the player of the support of Nigerians.
Enoh who accompanied the Silver winning Super Eagles team back to Abuja from Abidjan in the early hours of Tuesday, met privately with Iwobi to encourage and pep him up.
“I am aware of what is happening on social media and as a ministry this isn’t the first time we are going to make a statement against bullying, not just you but our sportsmen and women in general who are exposed to bullying due to the out come of competitions.
“We are concerned about how our sportsmen and women are treated.
“You did your best for your country and I am proud of you. The leadership and the rest of the country is proud of you. Those who are not are in the far minority and do not speak for the rest of our country, so just be strong.
“You are part of a team that brought home a silver medal which the country last won at AFCON 2000, which is 23 years ago. You put in your best, thank you very much”, the minister said.
Iwobi in his brief response said he had gone off social media after the AFCON final and was focused on trudging on.
“For me, I have taken myself out of social media after yesterdays game”, Iwobi said.
He stated that he had deleted all pictures on his Instagram page and locked the comment section of the post, following trolling after the AFCON finals.
Super Eagles Captain, Ahmed Musa also pleaded with fans to stop cyber attacks on Iwobi.
“Dear fans, I want to please urge you to halt the cyber-bullying directed towards Alex Iwobi. Cyber bullying is not just a violation of decency but also a serious crime. It’s hypocritical to claim that football unites us while engaging in such behavior.
“Losing a game is undoubtedly tough, but targeting a single player for the team’s shortcomings is unfair and unjust. We win as a team, and we lose as a team. Alex gave his all on the field, just like every member of our squad”, Musa said.