“Our Fans Should Do Better”: Victor Osimhen Rallies Around Alex Iwobi After Social Media Criticism

“Our Fans Should Do Better”: Victor Osimhen Rallies Around Alex Iwobi After Social Media Criticism

Edwin Kiplagat
February 14, 2024 at 3:18 PM
In this article:
Victor Osimhen logo
V. Osimhen
Napoli logoFNigeria logo
Alex Iwobi logo
A. Iwobi
Fulham logoFNigeria logo
Nigeria logo
CAF Africa Cup of Nations logo
  • Victor Osimhen has sent a powerful message to Nigeria fans
  • Nigeria fans targeted Alex Iwobi after the AFCON final defeat
  • The Fulham star archived all his social media posts as a result

After Nigeria lost to Ivory Coast in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations final, Super Eagles star Alex Iwobi wiped his Instagram account following relentless abuse on social media.

African Footballer of the Year, Victor Osimhen, has urged fans to stop attacking Iwobi, adding that the team has rallied around the Fulham man.

Nigeria, Alex Iwobi, AFCON, Ivory Coast, Jose Peseiro, William Troost-Ekong
Alex Iwobi and Victor Osimhen played every game for Nigeria at the 2023 AFCON. Photos by Visionhaus.
Source: Getty Images

Nigeria took the lead in the first half, but conceded twice in the second half to the host nation, resulting in a painful 2-1 defeat.

Iwobi started six of Nigeria's seven games in the tournament and was one of the best performers in their superb run to the final.

The former Arsenal star was also heavily criticised after receiving a red card in Nigeria's Round of 16 loss to Tunisia at the 2021 AFCON.

There are rumours that the 27-year-old is considering walking away from the national team amid the latest cyberbullying, per Al Jazeera.

Osimhen's message to Iwobi

While the team was meeting Nigeria's president, Bola Tinubu, Osimhen asked fans to be considerate.

“I urge Nigerians that cyberbullying is bad because we are also humans. Sometimes we make mistakes. Sometimes we have a good game, and we’ll get the hype. But of course, when you criticise, you have to be constructive when doing this type of things."

The Napoli striker said social media trolling can affect a player's form.

“I think, to be fair, what they have done to Alex [Iwobi] is out of this world and not good. They should also look at his mental health...So I think we are rallying around him. We have spoken to him individually and collectively," via Oluwashina Okeleji.

Iwobi has played over 70 times for Nigeria, but it is unclear if he will be available for the 2025 AFCON.

Okocha message to Iwobi

Earlier, Sports Brief reported on Super Eagles legend Jay-Jay Okocha defending Iwobi, following reports of online abuse.

The 27-year-old star was forced to archive his social media posts after being targeted following Nigeria's loss to Ivory Coast in the Africa Cup of Nations final.

Iwobi played 79 minutes in the final and was replaced by Alhassan Yusuf after a muted performance for the 2013 champions.

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Edwin Kiplagat
Edwin Kiplagat has five years of experience in journalism working as a Sports Editor at Africa Insight Communications and ESPN. Edwin Kiplagat is a Bachelor's Degree holder in journalism from the Multimedia University of Kenya.