Abeokuta — The ongoing African Nations Cup in South Africa recorded it first major casualty in Abeokuta, Ogun state capital on Sunday, when a middle-aged man reportedly died during the crucial quarter final match between the Super Eagles of Nigeria and the Elephants of Cote d'Ivoire.
The tragedy at a popular football viewing centre known as 'Promise Stadium located at Lanlepe compound Oke-Sokori, Abeokuta happened when the Ivoriens cancelled out Emmanuel Emenike's goal.
Eye witnesses said Engineer Owolabi Ismail, a staff of Road Maintenance Agency, FERMA slumped and all efforts to revive him proved abortive as he gave up the ghost before he could be rushed to hospital.
It was also gathered that the deceased had reportedly escaped death last December in a fatal road crash, where all occupants died.
An eyewitness who gave his name as Mr Wasiu Akinlotan said." We were watching the match at the viewing centre with much anticipation and anxiety from everybody. He was so much in the match that he does not want any distraction from anybody".
Akinlotan who was still in shock added that, "Immediately our boys scored the first goal, the excitement was so much that he was dancing and praising God and when the Ivorians equalised, he collapsed instantly and we had to rush him to a nearby hospital but there was no doctor on hand to attend to him. He gave up the ghost while being taken to another hospital in the area", he narrated.
The elder sister of the victim, Mrs Rashidat Owolabi said that his late brother, popularly called Engineer or Baba Ibrahim was survived by aged parents, two children, a male and female.