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Nigeria Players Receive Death Threats After AFCON Exit

Following the team's exit from the Africa Cup of Nations, Nigeria players have been subjected to abusive messages and death threats on social media.

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Super Eagles supporters did not take too kindly to their side's shock defeat to Tunisia in the round of 16 of the continental showpiece, having not exited the competition that early since 1984.

The reaction to the team's elimination was volatile and toxic in some parts, with two players appearing to bear the brunt of most of the abuse, goalkeeper Maduka Okoye and winger Alex Iwobi.

Okoye, who was complicit in letting Youssef Msakni's low swerving strike, which proved to be Tunisia's winner, into the back of the net, was harassed online with comments that ranged from trolling his looks to the extreme of wishing death upon him and his loved ones.

As a result, the keeper has disabled his Instagram comments.

Iwobi, a second-half substitute, was given a red card no more than five minutes after his introduction following an inadvertent stamp. He has also received a tremendous amount of online abuse since, leading him to archive all his Instagram posts.

"People need to act responsibly and not turn their disappointments into hate speech and threats against some players," now-ex-Nigeria boss Augustine Eguavoen told Al Jazeera.

After winning all three of their group matches, the three-time AFCON champions had high expectations for themselves. 

This expression of disappointment in the team painted a picture of Nigerian fan culture having a foul side to it, with Odion Ighalo, Yakubu Ayegbeni and Eguavoen still receiving abuse to this day for high-profile mistakes they made as Super Eagles at previous tournaments.

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