Nigeria's team determined after deadly attack

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 18, 2014 at 11:36 am •  Published: June 18, 2014
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CAMPINAS, Brazil (AP) — Shocked by a suicide bombing attack against a World Cup viewing site in northeast Nigeria, the country's national team is more determined than ever to succeed in Brazil and provide some comfort to those at home, a team official said on Wednesday.

Emmanuel Attah, the team's coordinator, appealed for calm in Nigeria and said the team remained united and focused on its task of beating Bosnia-Herzegovina on Saturday, following a 0-0 draw with Iran in its Group F opener.

"The only way we can console or condole these people who lost their lives or who were injured is to just do one thing: go ahead and beat Bosnia and qualify for the next round of the World Cup," he said at the team hotel in Campinas, northeast of Sao Paulo, where the team is training.

"Football is like a religion in Nigeria. If we beat Bosnia there will be happiness and joy in Nigeria and we know that beating Bosnia will not bring back the lives of all those who are dead but then it is our own way of saying 'sorry for the loss.'"

Police say 14 people were killed and at least 26 wounded in Tuesday night's blast in Damaturu, the capital of Yobe state, as fans were watching the Brazil vs. Mexico match. Witnesses said a suicide bomber drove a tricycle taxi packed with explosives into the area.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility but police blamed Boko Haram, an armed Islamic group that wants to turn Nigerian into an Islamic state and is behind the kidnapping of 250 schoolgirls.