2023 AFCON: How Nigerians console themselves after final heartbreak

By BBC Africa
Cup of Nations GETTY SEGUN OGUNFEYITIMIImage caption: This Nigerian fan was inconsolable after the defeat in the final
FEB 13, 2024 LISTEN
GETTY/ SEGUN OGUNFEYITIMI Image caption: This Nigerian fan was inconsolable after the defeat in the final

Nigerians are trying to find ways to get over the heartbreak of losing the Africa Cup of Nations final to hosts Ivory Coast on Sunday.

Although they're not being helped by people in the country's continental rivals Ghana and South Africa taking huge pleasure in their defeat.

The Super Eagles of Nigeria were edged out 2-1 by the Elephants of Ivory Coast with cancer survivor Sebastian Haller grabbing the headlines by scoring the winning goal.

And the celebrations are still continuing in Ivory Coast.

From posts calling the Afcon trophy "ugly" to those saying Nigeria's leaders didn't deserve the triumph given the many problems facing the country, the country's social media has been awash with opinions.

Former senator Shehu Sani, who has millions of followers on X, wrote "with afcon trophy gone, we can now face cup of garri" [cassava flour] - meaning now it's back to reality, in a country where the price of garri, one of Nigeria's staple foods, has shot up in recent months.

Vice-President Kashim Shettima, who visited the Super Eagles' dressing room after the defeat, asked them to cheer up, saying: "It's not easy being the second-best team on the African continent."

Another X user @firstobidient posted a photo of the trophy after the game ended saying: "I never liked this ugly trophy".

Some Ghanaians used the opportunity to taunt their West African rivals in their time of misery with @joelbortey posting a video of a person dancing with the words: "Waking up knowing Nigeria lost the AFCON final. This might be the best Monday morning ever".

After Nigeria beat South Africa in the semi-finals, some Nigerians mocked Bafana Bafana fans, saying it was revenge for the success of South Africa's Tyler over Nigeria's Afrobeats stars at the Grammys.

But now the tables have turned.
X user @itsJquan posted: "No Grammy award -South africa won it No Afcon trophy - Ivory Coast won it. Just bunch of tears and running your mouth endlessly".

Meanwhile, the celebrations are carrying on in Ivory Coast, where the victorious team is parading through the streets of the biggest city, Abidjan, with the trophy.

And a reception at the presidential palace is to follow on Tuesday.