LAGOS, Nigeria, April 25 – A high-profile Nigeria league match between champions Kano Pillars and Heartland was abandoned on Wednesday after police shot a fan at the Sani Abacha Stadium in Kano, northern Nigeria.
“The match was called off after Heartland refused to continue the game after a fan was shot in the foot by police inside the stadium and the fans protested,” Pillars media officer Idris Malikawa disclosed.
“The fan was said to have done something illegal – he has been rushed to hospital.”
The match was goalless after half an hour before this incident.
“Pillars fans would have to be commended for the way and manner they comported themselves during the problem,” said Malikawa.
“The situation was brought to normal but Heartland refused to continue for fear of their safety despite assurances from the match officials.”
However, Heartland media officer Cajetan Nwokpara gave a different account, saying some home fans invaded the pitch.
“Our match was inconclusive because some home fans invaded the pitch with knives, cutting the net and trying to remove the goal post after they had done so with the corner flags,” he said.
“I don’t really know what caused this. We were escorted to our hotel by the security and everybody in our team is okay.”
Interestingly the same fixture last season also ended in controversy after Heartland claimed they were manhandled by their home fans after they managed a 1-1 draw in Kano.