News / Africa

Nigerians Reconsider World Cup Viewing Centers After Attack

  • Victims of a suicide bomb explosion at a World Cup viewing center receive treatment at Sani Abacha specialist hospital in Damaturu, Nigeria, June 18, 2014.
  • Damaged buildings and bloodstains on the street can be seen following a suicide bomb explosion at a World Cup viewing center, Damaturu, Nigeria, June 18, 2014.
  • Heavily damaged buildings and bloodstains on the street can be seen following a suicide bomb explosion at a World Cup viewing center, Damaturu, Nigeria, June 18, 2014.
Heather Murdock
Free TV channels in Nigeria don’t show the World Cup.  But for about 25 cents, fans across the country can enjoy the game at "viewing centers," which are often as informal as a television set and a bunch of chairs.
 
In northeastern Nigeria, where a five-year Islamist insurgency has killed thousands of people and crushed the economy, football is one of the few pleasures left.  
 
Beauty Zopti, a fan, lives in Bauchi, a northern state bordering Yobe, where the bomb hit fans during the Brazil-Mexico World Cup match Tuesday night.
 
“I do go to viewing center to watch football.  But due to what is happening now, I think one should rethink," Zopti said. "Because definitely I’m thinking of watching it at home, because going to the viewing center has become something else with the recent bombing all over.“
 
At the end of May, 40 people were killed watching a football match at a viewing center in Adamawa state.  Two weeks earlier, in Plateau state, security forces stopped an attempted attack on a viewing center, but three people were still killed, including the bomber.

 
Boko Haram
 
  • Based in the northeastern city of Maiduguri
  • Self-proclaimed leader is Abubakar Shekau
  • Began in 2002 as a non-violent Islamist splinter group
  • Launched uprising in 2009
  • Has killed thousands since 2010
  • Boko Haram translates to "Western education is sinful"
  • Wants Nigeria to adopt strict Islamic law
No one has claimed responsibility for the attacks Tuesday, that killed 21 people in Damaturu, but Boko Haram insurgents are widely blamed.
 
The insurgency appears to have escalated in recent months, with more than 2,000 people killed this year alone and hundreds of schoolgirls kidnapped. The girls have been held captive now for over two months.
 
“Massacres have been occurring with regularity and some communities have actually been wiped out over the last six weeks.  So the evidence is clear that the insurgency is getting worse,” noted Jibrin Ibrahim, the executive director of the Center for Democracy and Development in Abuja.
 
According to the United Nations, roughly half a million people have fled their homes because of the violence.
 
Boko Haram preaches its own harsh version of Islamic law that rejects all things Western, which, to them, includes football.   But TV ratings show nothing is more African than football, with at least 17.5 million people in Nigeria alone watching the Nigeria-Iran matchup Monday night.

Meanwhile in Brazil, members of the Nigerian national team say news of the attack on citizens watching them play in the World Cup has strengthened their resolve to win.

"In fact we are more than ever determined that the only way we can console or condole these people that lost their lives or who are injured, to is just do one thing, go ahead and beat Bosnia and qualify for the next round of the World Cup," team official Emanuel Attah told Reuters news agency.

Attah also appealed to those responsible for the attack to renounce violence.

"That's why we are appealing to all those behind it - some of them must have played football before, some of them must have been football fans - appealing to them to please give their luck a chance and let all this bombing and killing stop. It's not good for us," he said.

Some material for this report provided by Reuters

2014 Brazil World Cup Moments, June 18, 2014
 
  • Mexico's Rafael Marquez (left) fights for the ball with Brazil's David Luiz during their 2014 World Cup Group A soccer match at the Castelao arena, in Fortaleza, June 17, 2014.
  • Algerian soccer fans watch their team's World Cup soccer match with Belgium on a large screen, in Algiers, June 17, 2014.
  • South Korean rapper Psy performs during a public screening before the 2014 World Cup Group H soccer match between South Korea and Russia, in Seoul, June 18, 2014.
  • A baby wears a wig while playing among Brazilian soccer fans watching the match between Brazil and Mexico during the World Cup 2014, in Manaus, June 17, 2014.
  • Russia's Igor Akinfeev fumbles the ball to concede a goal to South Korea's Lee Keun-ho during their 2014 World Cup Group H soccer match at the Pantanal arena, in Cuiaba, June 17, 2014.
  • Russia's Alexander Kerzhakov (No. 11) is seen in action before scoring the goal against South Korea during their 2014 World Cup Group H soccer match at the Pantanal arena, in Cuiaba, June 17, 2014.
  • South's Korea's national soccer players pile on top of teammate Lee Keun-ho as they celebrate his goal against Russia during their 2014 World Cup Group H soccer match at the Pantanal arena, in Cuiaba, June 17, 2014.
  • A girl wearing the Brazilian flag runs through the slum of Varjao on the outskirts of Brasilia, ahead of the 2014 World Cup Group A soccer match between Brazil and Mexico, June 17, 2014.

You May Like

Kurdish President: More Needed to Defeat Islamic State

In interview with VOA's Persian Service, Massoud Barzani says peshmerga forces have not received weapons, logistical support needed to successfully fight IS in northern Iraq More

Sierra Leone's Stray Dog Population Doubles During Ebola Crisis

Many dog owners fear their pets could infect them with the virus and have abandoned them, leading to the increase and sparking fears of rabies More

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

New methods for mapping pain in the brain not only validate sufferers of chronic pain but might someday also lead to better treatment More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Miriam Guzman from: Miami
June 18, 2014 1:37 PM
Pls give us the list of dead and injury people in this attack , as I have a friend in that area and he was about to see the match. Thank uuu

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Paini
X
Shelley Schlender
April 20, 2015 7:03 PM
Pain has a purpose - it can stop you from touching a flame or from walking on a broken leg. As an injury heals, the pain goes away. Usually. But worldwide, one out of every five people suffers from pain that lasts for months and years, leading to lost jobs, depression, and rising despair when medical interventions fail or health experts hint that a pain sufferer is making it up. From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Italy Rescues Migrants After Separate Deadly Capsize Incident

Italy continued its massive search and rescue operation in the Mediterranean Monday for the capsized boat off the coast of Libya that was carrying hundreds of migrants, while at the same time rescuing Syrian migrants from another vessel off the coast of Sicily. Thirteen children were among the 98 Syrian migrants whose boat originated from Turkey on the perilous journey to Europe.
Video

Video New Test Set to Be Game Changer in Eradicating Malaria

The World Health Organization estimates 3.4 billion people are at risk of malaria, with children under the age of five and pregnant women being the most vulnerable. As World Malaria Day approaches (April 25), mortality rates are falling, and a new test -- well into the last stage of trials -- is having positive results in Kenya. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA from Nairobi.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.

VOA Blogs