Pierre Wome says he could have been killed by irate fans after missing the penalty that cost Cameroon a place in the World Cup finals.
Wome's penalty miss handed Ivory Coast the ticket to Germany 2006
Had the defender converted his spot-kick against Egypt, Cameroon would have won 2-1 and been at Germany 2006.
Instead, the 1-1 draw allowed Ivory Coast to claim top spot in Group Three and has left Wome's family living under police protection.
"It could have ended very badly indeed," Wome said on Tuesday.
"They wanted to and could have killed me.
"Even though I am a tough lad and I have never been afraid of death, my concern was about the safety of my relatives," he explained on his return to training with Italian side Inter.
The defender said that some fans had mistakenly attacked vehicles they thought belonged to him and that his family in Cameroon were now being protected by police.
The defender disputed forward Samuel Eto'o's version of Saturday's events in which the reigning African Footballer of the Year said he had not taken the penalty because Wome felt confident about scoring.
"I'm very angry with Eto'o because what he said isn't true," he said.
"We did not talk on the pitch but I took into account that he and the captain didn't feel up to it so I went to take it myself given that I was on the list of penalty takers."