The Three Lions were one of the favorites to go all the way and claim their second world title but they came up short in the quarterfinals against Les Bleus
Several Nigerian football fans have emerged in full force in their show of support for Arsenal forward Bukayo Saka after he was the subject of attack from angry England fans.
Saka was one of England’s best players at the 2022 FIFA World Cup, where he scored three goals – including a brace against Iran – to help the Three Lions reach the quarterfinals of the tournament.
But England’s dream came to an abrupt halt on Saturday, as France claimed a thrilling 2-1 win to send head coach Gareth Southgate and his men home.
Saka delivered another impressive showing in that encounter: the 21-year-old winger won the penalty that Harry Kane converted for England’s only goal.
As England trailed in the last few minutes, they were awarded another penalty which Harry Kane missed, sending the ball high into the Qatari sky.
If anyone should be blamed for England’s ouster from the World Cup, the Tottenham Hotspur striker would logically be the number one scapegoat.
But some angry English fans have turned instead on Saka, who they somehow believe should be held responsible for the Three Lions’ aborted dream.
While Kane is being consoled to not dwell too much on his misplaced spot-kick, Saka is being hounded for not doing enough for an England victory.
One frustrated fan wrote, among many others, on Saka’s social media page, telling the youngster to ‘go back to Nigeria’ as he is ‘not even from here’.
Saka was born in Ealing, England, to parents of Nigerian descent.
Nigerians back Saka
Despite being unhappy with Saka’s decision to play for the Three Lions over the Super Eagles, many Nigerians still consider the Arsenal forward one of their own.
And countless came to his defence on Twitter, dragging the fans who attacked the youngster.
One Ahmed wrote: “Nothing new……Racist Brits. All the blame should be on Kane, but they rather trash Saka. Saka and Rashford scored 3 goals each in Qatar. Kane has 2.”
Another user said: “England nuh deserve Saka, I wish he could somehow revoke his citizenship and go play for Nigeria fr, at least he has a better chance to win afcon than ever winning anything for England.”
One Twitter user: “Saka should go back to Nigeria? And who told you we will reject him? No we can’t ..may England never smell world cup for being so stupid and ungrateful…may God of Saka ur dragging in the mud for no reason keep disgracing you.”
Someone else tweeted: “Always sure to point you the road to your Father’s house when the die is cast. “Go back to Nigeria, ur not even from here”. Poor Saka.”
This is not the first time English fans will attack Bukayo Saka after a major international tournament.
Saka was subjected to severe racist attacks when he missed a crucial penalty for England against Italy in the final of Euro 2020. The Italians lifted the Cup.