Chipolopolo of Zambia and Power Dynamos striker Alex N’gonga’s family home in Chimwemwe Township in Kitwe has been attacked by thugs following Zambia’s 1-0 loss to Nigeria in a decisive 2018 World Cup qualifier.
Copperbelt province police commissioner Charity Katanga disclosed that a group of people emerged from a white Toyota Land Cruiser ACC 5492 and maliciously damaged two roofing sheets with stones.
Mrs Katanga said the group pointed accusing fingers at N’gonga for missing scoring chances that crashed Zambia’s hopes of qualifying to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
She said police have launched a manhunt and a case of “malicious damage” to property has been opened.
And N’gonga’s mother Charity N’gonga informed journalists that she feared for her life when she heard another person threatening to destroy their home completely.
The attack came on the heels of Alex Iwobi’s second-half winner which ensured Nigeria’s qualification to the World Cup in Russia. N’gonga was a culprit for missing several scoring opportunities most notably a one-on-one with Super Eagles goalkeeper, Ikechukwu Ezenwa. The Dynamos striker irked the irate fans with his display and had his home attacked in a move which speaks unwholesome of a sporting spirit. The Chipolopolo gave the Super Eagles a run for their money and had a good account of themselves in the keenly contested encounter. Attacker, N’gonga like many footballers is bound to miss scoring chances in a tension-soaked game of that magnitude.
Recall that Ghanaian captain, Asamoah Gyan had irate fans attacking his family home in Ghana after missing several scoring chances in an African Cup of Nations elimination fixture and today Gyan has risen to skipper the Black Stars to glory days and is still working hard for the team. Another incidence of violence meted out on footballers is Pierre Wome’s penalty miss against Egypt in 2005 which ensured Cameroon would not be playing at the 2006 World Cup in Germany. His house was burnt by angry Cameroonian fans who pointed accusing fingers at him for failing to convert the stoppage-time penalty.
Some ferocious Beninoise fans also stoned a goalkeeper to death after an African Youth Championship 3-0 loss to the Flying Eagles of Nigeria in 2005 AYC with accusations of allowing cheap goals to go past him. There has been a concurrent ignominy in fans’ lack of sportsmanship in Africa and N’gonga’s case this like many others, speaks volume of our love for the game, although, with a push of violence.
Nigeria became the first African team to qualify for the global showpiece courtesy of Alex Iwobi’s second-half strike at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium in Uyo.