Nigerian Footballers AbroadOff the Pitch

Osayi-Samuel raises concerns over player safety following a violent incident

Super Eagles full-back Bright Osayi-Samuel has raised concerns over player safety following a violent incident involving fans during a recent match between Fenerbahçe and Trabzonspor in Turkey.

The match, which ended in a 3-2 victory for Fenerbahçe, was overshadowed by clashes between players and some Trabzonspor fans, leading Osayi-Samuel and his teammates to defend themselves against the aggression.

In a conversation with Adepoju Samuel on X following Nigeria’s match against Mali in Morocco, Osayi-Samuel provided further details of the altercation, highlighting the need for action to prevent such incidents in the future.

Osayi-Samuel expressed concern over the lack of intervention from officials despite instances of violence, including an incident where the Fenerbahçe goalkeeper was hit with an object and left bleeding.

He stressed the importance of player protection and called for measures to ensure the safety of players on the pitch, especially in situations where fans become violent.

While acknowledging the support from Fenerbahçe fans, Osayi-Samuel emphasised that players should not have to resort to defending themselves against armed fans and urged authorities to take appropriate action to prevent such incidents.

The Super Eagles star highlighted the broader implications of player safety concerns, stating that incidents like these could deter players from participating in leagues where their safety is compromised.

“I think they should have abandoned the game. Our keeper was hit with an object and he was bleeding. Minutes after, it was a free kick and they scored from it. How can that happen? We had to defend ourselves because it was crazy,” Osayi-Samuel stated.

“It is unacceptable anywhere when it becomes violent and players start fighting back. The players fighting back is justified because some of these fans are armed.

“If one of our players gets hurt, it’s not just the clubs that would have a problem, but the league as a whole.”

“Players wouldn’t want to come to a place where they don’t feel safe and can get hurt. Objects thrown on the pitch are everywhere, not just in Turkey, but when it becomes excessive, the referee has to stop the game,” he added.

Osayi-Samuel’s plea for enhanced player protection comes amid growing concerns over fan violence in football, underscoring the need for collective action to ensure the safety and well-being of players on the pitch.

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