The Super Eagles have spoken of wanting to help those back home after Tuesday night’s suicide attacks left more than 20 people dead and many more injured.
It was quiet in the Nigeria camp on Tuesday after news filtered through that there had been a suicide attack on football fans watching the game between Brazil and Mexico back home.
Players and coaches turned in early after their evening training with one thing in mind – how to console a nation in sorrow. A unifying force for Nigeria’s more than 250 unique ethnicities, football has been the rallying point for most of its people. Whenever the Super Eagles play, the whole country stands still and prays in one breath for their victory.
Winning the Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa last year after more than 19 years took the levels of happiness in a football-loving country to another place. And the Eagles knew that coming to Brazil this year carried a lot of expectations with it, not least the hopes of more than 160 million people.
There is now increased pressure after Tuesday’s bomb blast in Damaturu that left more than 20 dead and several hospitalised. The team has spoken of seeking a victory against Bosnia-Herzegovina in their next game for their departed countrymen.