The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) of South Africa on Tuesday, February 6, described the advisory issued by the Nigeria High Commission in Pretoria as “unfortunate”.
DIRCO South Africa, in a statement, said the advisory is regrettable “as it seems to create alarm and unnecessary tension between South African citizens and Nigerians living in or visiting South Africa.
Recall that the Nigerian High Commission had warned its citizens living in South Africa to “be watchful of their utterances, be mindful of where they choose to watch the match especially in public places, and refrain from engaging in loud, riotous or provocative celebrations should the Super Eagles win.’’
The warning is coming on the heels of xenophobic attacks against citizens of other African nations, Nigerians included, leading to loss of lives and destruction of their property in South Africa by South Africans.
In its response, South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco) in a statement on Tuesday, said the Nigerian High Commission had only raised a false alarm and caused unnecessary tension as there was “no history of soccer hooliganism among South Africans” in previous encounters between both sides.
Dirco added, “We are confident that the sports-loving nation of South Africa poses no threat to Nigerian citizens, and we do not agree with the apprehension expressed by the high commission. The advisory is regrettable because it seems to create alarm and unnecessary tension between the citizens of South Africa and Nigerians living in or visiting South Africa.’