Aiteo Cup: 20 injured, vehicles vandalised as Sunshine, Osun fans clash


The Aiteo Cup  quarterfinal  match between Sunshine Stars  and Osun United was marred by  violence  at the Dipo Dina Stadium, Ijebu Ode, Ogun State,  on Saturday.

No fewer than 20 persons   allegedly  sustained serious injuries while over 10 vehicles   were destroyed  during the  fight  between    suspected Osun United  and Sunshine   fans.   According to witnesses, the  invasion of  the pitch by some Osun United fans  after the referee  sounded the final whistle led  to a free-for-all, forcing the match officials  to run for their lives.  Akure club Sunshine won the encounter 3-1, and progressed to the semifinals  3-2 on aggregate.

The referee was said to have incurred the wrath of the fans following a questionable call against the  Osogbo outfit Osun United, who needed a second goal to advance, having won the first leg 1-0.

While the pitch invasion was going on, it was learnt  that suspected Sunshine fans  vandalised the  vehicles which brought Osun United fans to the stadium.  They were also said to have attacked Osun United captain Akeem Olalere and destroyed some property at the stadium.

But the  Ondo State Commissioner for Youths and Sports Saka Yusuf-Ogunleye  accused Osun United of  mobilising thugs from Osun State to attack Sunshine at Ijebu Ode.

Yusuf-Ogunleye  claimed in an interview with  reporters in Akure on Monday that  the attack  was planned before the  match.

He alleged that the  hoodlums injured  over 20 Sunshine supporters when they  invaded the pitch.

The commissioner said, “Some minutes before the end of the match, Osun United supporters invaded the field,  beating and harassing both the match officials and players and it took the intervention of the security operatives at the stadium to save the situation.

“Most of the supporters, officials and fans were not so lucky as they were injured after being attacked with machetes  by the  supporters from Osun who seemed prepared for the onslaught. The Chief Security Officer  of the stadium was also attacked.”

But Osun State  Commissioner for Sport Biyi Odunlade  alleged that   Sunshine and Gateway FC supporters carried out the attack on Osun United.

Odunlade, who said he watched the match,  alleged that Gateway supporters colluded with the supporters of  Sunshine  because their team were defeated in the earlier round by Osun United in Osogbo.

He added that an official of Ogun State Sports Council was arrested by the police while deflating the tyres  of  one of the damaged  buses  belonging to Osun United supporters.

He said, “They broke windscreens of five of our buses and we saw them do it but I pleaded with our people not to retaliate.

“We were more in number than them and it would have been brutal if our people had fought back. So, we didn’t attack them but they attacked us.”Punch


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