Super Eagles midfielder, Ejike Uzoenyi, has revealed that he almost passed out when Ghanaian defender, Kwabena Adusei, elbowed him in his head and nether regions, causing him a minor concussion mid-way into the first half of the African Nations Championship, CHAN, semi-final clash between Nigeria and Ghana in Bloemfontein, South Africa.
Team medics described Uzoenyiâ€™s condition at the time as â€˜cortica artery seizureâ€™, noting that it took quite a while to get his pulse back from the leg region.
â€œIt was scary but we thank God, it didnâ€™t degenerate more than that and the playerâ€™s recovery rate was phenomenal,â€ one of the medical official attached to the team noted.
The player himself was quoted by Team Media Officer, Ben Alaiya, as saying he momentarily passed on and didnâ€™t know what was happening until he was stretchered out for treatment.
â€œThat player wanted to kill me with that vicious elbow and I was blank and did not know where I was until I started hearing noises, but I was determined to continue that was why I was rushing back to the pitch. But I think it was God that saved my life because some lesser cases have resulted in fatalities,â€ Uzoenyi said.
He also said that he was still sad that the Eagles lost the match after his near fatal accident and promised that he would be ready for the third place match against the Warriors of Zimbabwe.
â€œItâ€™s the only thing we have to leave here with and we are determined to compensate Nigerians with a third place finishâ€, he said.
Zambian referee, Janny Sikwaze, also received blame from football fans across South Africa for being too casual and at times absent minded in the handling of the Nigeria-Ghana match.
â€œIt was really scary that a player will commit such an offence and still was left on the pitch by the referee, CAF must take note and deal with this matter before players like that commit murder on the pitchâ€, declared Emmanuel Addo, a Nigerian at the tournament.
Lucia Sanele, a South African said she saw the bestial side of football from the Ghanaians and wondered if the organisers were taking notes of what was happening on the pitch.
â€œWe must find a way to excuse brutes from the game of football if the game must maintain its entertainment valuesâ€, she said.