Nigerian high commission’s fan notice ‘reckless’
An expert condemns the Nigerian High Commission's cautionary notice, emphasizing the unifying power of football.
COLLAGE: Stanley Nwabali of Nigeria (left) and Ronwen Williams of South Africa (right) (Pics Backpagepix)
Football has the power to unite people from diverse backgrounds and cultures, especially in Africa, according to an expert, who says an advisory notice from the Nigerian high commission in Pretoria was reckless and could cause harm.
The commission said there had been veiled threats against “Nigerians cooking jollof rice before the match”, and “showing pepper to Nigerians if Bafana Bafana lose to the Super Eagles”, among others.
Normal banter between SA and Nigeria
However, an University of South Africa public and international affairs expert, advocate Sipho Mantula, said there was normally banter between the two countries “which never led to violent acts”.
“Concerns raised over the potential for incidents could lead to harm and reckless behaviour, particularly without substantiated proof – the comments on jollof are not inciting violence,” he said.
“It was really irresponsible… The capacity of sport is that sport unites; sport doesn’t divide people.
“We must use the power of sports, arts and culture to coerce Africans to unite.
Diplomatic processes show SA can call on the high commission to explain the cautionary notice.