Fans storm onto the pitch as Ghana earns World Cup berth over Nigeria

By George Ramsay, CNN

(CNN) – Supporters in Nigeria broke onto the field at the final whistle as Ghana earned a spot at this year’s FIFA World Cup following a 1-1 draw with the Super Eagles.

After a goalless draw in the first leg, Thomas Partey’s away goal in Wednesday’s game was enough to see Ghana reach Qatar 2022 — the first African nation to do so.

Partey’s driven shot in the 10th minute found its way underneath Nigerian goalkeeper Francis Uzoho to give the Black Stars the lead in the tie.

William Troost-Ekong leveled from the penalty spot after Ademola Lookman was brought down by Denis Odoi in the box later in the first half, but Nigeria couldn’t produce the winning goal needed to earn World Cup qualification.

And after the final whistle, fans at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja vented their frustration by breaking onto the pitch.
According to Reuters, fans threw objects at Ghana’s supporters and players, who had to battle to the tunnel to leave the pitch.

Police intervened by beating rioters with batons and spraying tear gas, Reuters reported.

CNN has contacted FIFA and CAF, the governing body of African football, in relation to the crowd trouble but has not received a response.

It’s only the second time since 1994 that Nigeria has failed to qualify for the World Cup having missed out on the 2006 tournament in Germany.

It also follows a disappointing African Cup of Nations campaign in January that saw the Super Eagles knocked out in the round of 16 by Tunisia.

Ghana, meanwhile, will return to the World Cup, which gets underway on November 21, having failed to qualify for the last tournament in Russia four years ago.

The Zambian Football Association (FAZ) also reported that Dr. Joseph Kabungo, a CAF/FIFA medical officer who was on duty for the game in Abuja, had passed away.

“We take note that it is too early to dwell into the nitty-gritty of the cause of his death but will wait for the full report from CAF and FIFA on what exactly transpired,” FAZ president Andrew Kamanga said in a statement on social media.

“He was a dedicated and widely loved member of our football community and his impact was vast, having also been part of [Zambia’s] 2012 AFCON winning team. His death is a huge loss as Dr Kabungo was a friend and confidant to many generations of players and their families.”

CNN has also contacted FIFA, CAF and the Nigerian Football Federation regarding Dr. Kabungo’s death.

CNN’s Aleks Klosok and Sammy Mngqosini contributed to reporting.


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