The Nigeria vs Sao Tome and Principe AFCON qualification game was briefly interrupted by a pitch invader who was quickly marched off the turf at the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium, Uyo.
As confirmed by his family in an exclusive chat with SportsRation correspondent Nsikakabasi Akpan in Uyo, the pitch invader is still in Police detention at the Force Command at Ikot Akpan Abia in Uyo.
His name is Promise Saviour a native of Ikono Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
According to his elder brother, Promise did not return home after the match on Sunday, a situation which caused the family to visit the Godswill Akpabio International Stadium on Monday September 11 to enquire over what transpired after he was ushered out of the field of play.
The pitch Invaders elder brother exclusively told SportsRation ” We visited the Stadium on Monday morning and were told that he was only taken out of the field of play and it’s surroundings before being freed to go. ”
” We pressed on to the Police Station for further enquires and after numerous visits were informed on Tuesday September 12 that he is in their custody.
” The Police asked we bring a lawyer that he is detained for interrupting a match.
The Police, SportsRation gathered from Promise Saviour’s family are demanding a huge sum for bail bond to allow him regain his freedom.
When contacted over the incident, Akwa Ibom State Football Association Normalization Committee chairman, Otuekong Bonny Nyong expressed surprise over the arrest, saying he was never informed. For him it was purely a football matter which was settled when he was escorted out of the turf.
In their separate reactions, football followers in Uyo have condemned the decision of the Police to detain the Pitch invader.
According to them, incidents of pitch invasion in football are reported all over the World and are treated as pure footballing matters.
The fans requested for the intervention of relevant Football Associations in Akwa Ibom State and Nigeria to intervene in the case.
One of the fans Godwin Ndem was detailed in his submission ” We see pitch Invaders in football matches regularly. For me when I saw the pitch invader during the Nigeria vs Sao Tome and Principe match, I expected him to go hug a player but he didn’t and was just cheering. ”
” Getting to hear today when I came for a friendly match that the boy is still in Police custody is strange and surprising.
” That was a football matter and the sanctions he should have received if necessary was from the Football Association, maybe a Stadium and not detention as I have been told .
” That the only charges they have against him is pitch invasion makes it a football matter and not a civil case and so he should please be released to his family. ” Godwin remarked.