The death of about 30 people at a football viewing center in Calabar, during a Europa League quarter-final match on Thursday night between Manchester United and Anderlecht is drawing global attention as the NFF , football fans and the EPL Club took to social media on Friday to express their condolences.
United left it late against the Belgian side with Marcus Rashford scoring in the 107 minute to send the Reds into the semis; where they now face Celta Vigo, but tragedy struck in the course of the game as viewers in the Nigerian city of Calabar were reportedly electrocuted after a power line crashed through the roof of the structure.
Manchester United tweeted : ” Our thoughts go out to the United fans, their friends and families affected by the tragedy in Calabar, Nigeria, yesterday.”
Our thoughts go out to the United fans, their friends and families affected by the tragedy in Calabar, Nigeria, yesterday. pic.twitter.com/WGnHAxpjMV
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) April 21, 2017
— UK in Nigeria🇬🇧 (@UKinNigeria) April 21, 2017
The Nigeria Football Federation ( NFF ) issued a press release commiserating with the Government and people of Cross River State, as well as families and friends of the 30 persons reportedly killed.
NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi said: “It is with heavy hearts that we received the tragic news of the death of 30 persons at a viewing centre in Calabar while they were watching a UEFA Europa League match on Thursday evening.”
“We mourn with the Government of Cross River State, our affiliate the Cross River State Football Association, the good people of Cross River State and the families and friends of the deceased football fans.
“We pray that God Almighty will grant their souls eternal rest and also grant their loved ones and the Government and people of Cross River State the fortitude to bear the big loss.
“We are much pained by this unfortunate incident because football is a game of peace that brings joy and excitement to the whole of humanity.”
Some rival football fans, who tweeted about the tragedy, also praised Man United for the gesture.
On twitter user said : I’m a Nigerian & a CFC fan. Your S/O is indeed a kind gesture, now I appreciate the “United” movement. Tnx & R.I.P to the deceased 🙏
@ManUtd I’m a Nigerian & a CFC fan. Your S/O is indeed a kind gesture, now I appreciate the “United” movement. Tnx & R.I.P to the deceased 🙏
— Babs (@BabatundeCASH) April 21, 2017
Another said : One minute silence for them.. your biggest fan base in Africa lies in Nigeria. They deserve one minute silence.. thanks
@ManUtd One minute silence for them.. your biggest fan base in Africa lies in Nigeria. They deserve one minute silence.. thanks
— KinG NomSo👑💷 (@ani_nomso) April 21, 2017
@ManUtd May their souls RIP! Opening a dedicated fan viewing center in Calabar would be a good way to honor their memory.
— Raymond Eyo (@RaymondEyo) April 21, 2017
According to an account of the tragedy given by a survivor, a transformer near the viewing centre located in the Iyang-Esu area of the Calabar Municipal Local Government Area exploded and this caused a high tension cable to drop on the viewing centre, while the match was on per thenff.