How Nigerian Footballer Was Nearly Killed By Hamas Rocket That Hit His Home In Israel

Israel-based Nigerian footballer, Ibezito Ogbonna has stated he’s fortunate to be alive after his condo within the Israeli metropolis of Ashdod was hit by a rocket fired from Gaza final week.

Ogbonna, who was a former under-23 striker was at dwelling together with his spouse and two younger daughters when the constructing suffered a direct hit, BBC Sports activities Africa reviews.

The 38-year-old, who received the Israeli Cup with Hapoel Tel Aviv in 2006 and 2007, was injured from the impression of the rocket and brought to hospital however his household had been unharmed.

The incident was a part of a current 11-day escalation in violence between Israel and Gaza.

Ogbonna was quoted as saying, “I’m extraordinarily fortunate to be alive after this rocket was fired and it is third time fortunate for me after being concerned in a automobile crash and a horrible theft incident in Nigeria.

“We had been all conscious of the try [possible strike] and we at all times get the warning indicators about doable missiles. We regularly hear sirens echo throughout the town’s streets which tends to immediate folks to hurry to a shelter.

“On at the present time I used to be having breakfast and I heard the wailing siren. Usually, we would run to the shelter as a result of each home has its personal shelter. I felt it is the traditional warning, however inside seconds it turned out to be an unfortunate day for me.

“I heard the loud bang of the rocket and felt the fast impression, I used to be thrown into the air and it took me from my eating room to my front room.

“I might see glasses and different objects flying round me. I hit the bottom, I stood up to go searching for my household. They had been very fortunate too, my spouse had taken cowl with my daughters, I feel one of many doorways landed on her.

“I might see the entire constructing was gone. We’re speaking a few four-storey constructing with about 30 folks. The safety doorways between my kitchen and front room ripped out and every part completely wrecked.

“Automobiles had been smashed and it was then I realised I had a reduce and my knee was hurting badly earlier than the paramedics took me in an ambulance to the hospital.

“I used to be within the hospital for a number of hours. I used to be handled and had completely different exams simply to test that every part was okay with me. They weren’t certain I used to be effective contemplating what had occurred.”

He continued, “It is tough to clarify the impression of what I noticed. Popping out of this alive was an entire miracle. We’re speaking about the identical assault that has left a number of folks badly wounded.

“We have had casualties since this factor began, however you might be simply grateful to be alive and never listed among the many lifeless.

“Plenty of households have been left homeless with their possessions destroyed and a spot they’ve at all times referred to as dwelling flattened.”

With no dwelling to return to, the Ogbonnas and 13 different households at the moment are staying at a resort because the Israeli authorities look to resettle them.

However the former Kaizer Chiefs of South Africa striker continues to be remembered fondly by followers of Hapoel Tel Aviv, regardless of leaving the membership 14 years in the past.

After scoring 40 objectives in 132 appearances for Israel’s second most profitable facet, there’s a renewed bond being solid because the membership’s supporters have launched a fund-raising marketing campaign to assist him get again on his toes.

“Hapoel Tel Aviv followers have been extremely superb, with out my data that they had began a fundraising to assist assist me,” Ogbonna added.

“As quickly because the information broke that my condo was hit, they began reaching out and calling my cellphone. I did not ask them for something but they had been providing to assist.

“I bear in mind considered one of them bought my contact and I feel he put it out on the fan web page for different supporters to achieve out. Messages of affection, prayers and unbelievable assist from a membership I left over a decade in the past.

“Some had been telling me to come back over to theirs if I had no place to remain. They’ve gone out to purchase stuff and garments for me and my household.

“I used to be getting deliveries of various issues on the resort with out even figuring out about it. I do not even know these guys. It is a large love and I can not thank them sufficient.

“It is one other proof that wherever you end up as a footballer or no matter you do. Be an excellent particular person and respect everybody since you by no means know when life will convey you again once more.”

Regardless of his expertise, Ogbonna, who now has Israeli citizenship, nevertheless, stated Israel is a protected place. He stays assured that Israel will proceed to draw expertise from Africa and his native nation.

He stated: “Israel continues to be a protected place and regardless of what has occurred right here, I consider African gamers will proceed to come back to this lovely nation.

“Plenty of Nigerians have made a reputation for themselves enjoying right here and I hope we are able to get extra gifted gamers to come back over right here. One factor I do know is that life will return to regular and everybody will proceed to really feel protected.

“The federal government right here will proceed to make sure the security of everybody on this nice nation and personally, I at all times really feel safer right here than anyplace else on this planet.”