Stephen Keshi commiserated with families and friends of the 21 victim who lost their lives in the explosion that occured at a football screening venue in Damaturu, capital of Yobe State, AP reports.
Fans were watching a World Cup Brazil-Mexico match on June 17, the day after the 0-0 draw between Nigeria’s Super Eagles and Iran’s national team.
Speaking on Friday at a press conference held at Cuiabá’s Arena Pantanal (the capital city of the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso), Keshi said:
“It’s not a pleasant thing, seeing people dying for no reason. It was like a double jeopardy — after our game most Nigerians weren’t very happy we had a tie against Iran, then the bomb blast wasn’t pleasant at all.
“It’s very tough for Nigerians, our heart goes out to them and we will do everything possible to ensure we can put a smile on their faces tomorrow.”
Captain of the Super Eagles, Norwich City defender currently on loan to Turkish side Fenerbahce, Joseph Yobo also voiced his condemn of the attack and hoped Super Eagles could cheer Nigerians up a bit:
“We are very sad about the news. We understand the situation. I think without the fans football wouldn’t be enjoyable.
“Players understand why we’’e here at the World Cup, to win games, and then hopefully everyone will be happy. All we can try and do is perform well for our country.”
Nigeria plays their next Group F game against Bosnia in Cuiaba on Saturday. Previously, the team’s media officer Ben Alaiya has said the players were obviously saddened by the attack and had vowed to do their best.
Although police have put the death toll of Tuesday’s incident at 14, medical sources report there were at least 21 deaths. Nigeria’s police warned fans against going to public venues showing matches.
This is not the first terror attack on football viewing centers, as in late May, a bomb went off a venue in Jos, capital of Plateau State. The police said three persons, including the bomber, died.
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