Super Eagles midfielder, Alex Iwobi, has explained why he deleted the social media post after the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations final match.
Iwobi, during an interactive section with the Minister of Sports Development, John Enoh, on Monday, spoke about cyberbullying and how he has handled numerous threats from Nigerians.
The recorded session was posted on Brila FM’s Instagram page on Monday.
Fulham’s star explained that he took himself off social media immediately after the final match as a result of unpleasant messages, abuse and threats directed towards him.
“For me, I have taken myself out of social media after yesterday’s game,” he said.
Cote D’ivoire defeated Nigeria 2-1 in a keenly contested final match that had Nigerians initially confident of winning the trophy. Nigeria last won the AFCON tournament in 2013 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Following this, Iwobi became a target of cyberbullying due to what Nigerians perceive as unsatisfactory midfield performance.
While some Nigerians seemed to have accepted their fate in the Super Eagle’s disappointing loss against the host nation at the AFCON final match, others blamed it on some key players by bullying them for the match’s outcome.
Fulham midfielder Alex Iwobi has become a significant target of cyberbullying due to what Nigerians perceive as unsatisfactory midfield performance.
Many Nigerians blamed him for a woeful performance, leading to many threats and insults on his Instagram page.
It resulted in the 27-year-old deleting over a hundred posts.
His family members, including former Nigerian international, Jay-Jay Okocha’s daughter, Daniella Okocha, have not been spared either. However, Ms Okocha managed to handle the situation by putting the bullies in their place.
Iwobi, a former Arsenal star, alongside other Super Eagles players, arrived in Nigeria on Monday at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport and will be treated to a heroic and grand reception at the Presidential Villa Abuja by President Bola Tinubu on Tuesday.
Checked the player’s Instagram page and found that no post remained on the page.
Mr Enoh, who led the Super Eagles back home after the AFCON final match against Cote D’ivoire told Iwobi, who is Jay Jay Okocha’s nephew, that he is aware of the cyberbullying and attacks he , Iwobi has received since Sunday night.
The minister unequivocally denounced any behaviour aimed at bullying or harming Nigerian athletes, highlighting the ministry’s concern regarding the treatment of the country’s sportsmen and women, especially after a defeat.
The minister said, “I am aware of what is happening on social media, and as a ministry, this isn’t the first time we will make a statement against bullying, not just you but our sportsmen and women in general who are exposed to bullying due to the outcome 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 are 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 did your best, and you are part of a team that brought home a silver medal, which the country last won at AFCON 2000, 23 years ago. You put in your best, thank you very much.”