Alex Iwobi was one of the regulars in Jose Peseiro’s 2023 AFCON silver-medal winning Nigeria Super Eagles team, featuring in all seven games and contributing from central midfield.
Despite his efforts, the player faced significant backlash on social media following Nigeria’s loss in the final against Ivory Coast.
The criticism directed at Iwobi, particularly on platforms like Instagram, prompted him to archive his posts to shield himself from the barrage of negative comments.
Many fans, disappointed with the outcome of the final, singled out Iwobi for blame, some even drawing unfavorable comparisons to his uncle, Jay-Jay Okocha.
However, in a show of solidarity, members of the Super Eagles team, including captain Ahmed Musa, rallied around Iwobi, condemning the cyberbullying.
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Musa emphasized that scapegoating Iwobi was unfair and urged fans to refrain from such behavior, highlighting the importance of unity within the football community.
Support for Iwobi poured in from various quarters, with teammates William Troost-Ekong, Victor Osimhen, Samuel Chukwueze, Kenneth Omeruo, and Kelechi Iheanacho, as well as popular musician Falz, lending their voices to defend the midfielder.
” Dear fans, I want to please urge you to halt the cyber-bullying directed towards Alex Iwobi. Cyber bullying is not just a violation of decency but also a serious crime. It’s hypocritical to claim that football unites us while engaging in such behavior.
Losing a game is… pic.twitter.com/prxydU5Jfb
— Ahmed Musa MON (@Ahmedmusa718) February 12, 2024
This incident echoes a similar episode in 2022, when Iwobi faced criticism following Nigeria’s elimination from the AFCON tournament in Cameroon. Despite the challenges, Iwobi continues to demonstrate resilience and dedication to representing his country on the football field.