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AFCON: Avoid finals if you have health conditions, doctor warns Nigerians


A former Presidential aspirant and medical doctor, Dr. Thomas-Wilson Ikubese, has advised Nigerians with underlying health conditions to exercise caution and consider staying away from watching the African Cup of Nations final match on Sunday.

In a statement, Ikubese expressed condolences for those who lost their lives during the intense semi-final match between Nigeria and South Africa.

He specifically mentioned the deaths of notable individuals like Cairo Ojougboh and Osondu Nwoye.

Ikubese highlighted the emotional and physical stress that football matches can induce, especially during critical moments like penalty kicks.

He emphasized, “The moment the referee visited the VAR, cancelled the Nigerian goal by Victor Osimen and awarded a penalty against Nigeria, these two, like many other Nigerians, started screaming in anger and frustration. When the kick was eventually taken and South Africa scored, they slumped and died.”

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Given the potential impact on individuals with heart conditions, he urged those highly emotional and susceptible to heart-related issues to be cautious during the AFCON grand finale. He recommended, “They should not watch the live transmission of the match. If they must, however, they should deliberately engage diversionary therapy to minimize their systemic reactions to the activities therein.”

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Ikubese suggested activities like using phones or engaging in other distractions while watching the match to prevent excessive emotional responses.

He further advised against screaming or jumping up during the game. If discomfort arises, he encouraged individuals to quit watching.

For those uncertain about maintaining decorum, he recommended boycotting live transmission and watching highlights afterward.

He also congratulated the Super Eagles for their outstanding performances and wished them success in the grand finale.

He urged them to play their best and bring home the trophy, providing Nigerians with something to cheer about during challenging times.

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At least five Nigerians lost their lives while watching the semi-final match between Nigeria and South Africa on Wednesday.

They include a chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, Dr. Cairo Ojougboh; Deputy Bursar, Kwara State University, Malete, Ayuba Abdullahi, and a corps member serving in Adamawa State, simply identified as Samuel.

Anambra-born businessman, Osondu Nwoye, based in Cote d’Ivoire, was also reported to have collapsed inside the stadium, while watching the match and died later in hospital.