Sunday, April 24, 2011


Last Monday April 18, 2011 was yet another horrifying day in the history of Nigerian football after news broke from Greece that the Super Eagles full-back, Adefemi Olubayo is no more...
The Beijing 2008 Olympics star died in a fatal car accident in his attempt to return to Nigeria to finalize his wedding plans.That sad incident is one amongst the many others that have rocked Nigerian soccer over the last few decades and Complete Sports Saturday’s SULAIMAN ALAO here chronicles some of the similar sad occurences that dealt our country cruel blows
Olubayo Adefemi 
Personal information 
Full name: Olubayo Adefemi 
Date of birth: 13 August 1985 
Place of birth Lagos, Nigeria 
Date of death: 18 April 2011 (aged 25) 
Place of death: Kavala, Greece 
Height: 1.84 m (6 ft  1/2 in) 
Position: Defender 
Youth Career 
0000–2000: Bendel Insurance 
Senior career
Years - Team - Apps - (Goals)
2001–2002: Bendel Insurance   
2002–2004: Delta Force   
2004–2005: Hapoel Jerusalem 23 (0) 
2005–2006: Hapoel Tel Aviv 10 (0) 
2006–2007: Hakoah Ramat Gan 0 (0) 
2007–2008: Hapoel Bnei Lod 30 (2) 
2008: Rapid Bucuresti 9 (0) 
2009: SC Rheindorf Altach 0 (0) 
2009–2010: Boulogne 13 (1) 
2010–2011: Skoda Xanthi 24 (2)
National Team 
2005: Nigeria U20 
2008: Nigeria U23 
2009–2011: Nigeria 5 (0) 
AYC Gold Medal, 2005 U-20
WYC Silver Medal, 2005 U-20 
Israeli F.A Cup winner with Hapoel Tel Aviv 2006 
Silver Medal 2008 Olympics U-23
OLUBAYO ADEFEMI  April 18, 2011:  Was a member of the Nigerian Under 20 team, Flying Eagles that won the African Youth Championship (AYC), in Benin Republic in 2005. He was also in the team that came second behind a Lionel Messi-led Argentina team at the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championship in the Netherlands. He played 5 out of the six matches Nigeria played, scoring 1 goal during play against Morocco in the semi-final.
Adefemi represented Nigeria at the 2008 Olympic Games, playing all the games and scoring a goal in a semifinal match against Belgium. He won silver with the U-23 Dream Team in the tournament.
He then progressed to the senior national team and made his debut against Ireland on 29 May, 2009. He missed attending the FIFA World Cup in South Africa in 2010 but returned to the Super Eagles squad under new coach, Samson Siasia.
Olubayo died in a car accident while driving on Egnatia Odos, near the city of Kavala, Greece. He was on his way to Nigeria in order to finalise details of his wedding. May his soul rest in peace.
SAMUEL OKWARAJI, August 12, 1989: 
Perhaps the most popular Super Eagles player who died in active service. The dreadlocked star, Okwaraji, collapsed ten minutes from the end of a 1990 World Cup Qualifier against Angola inside the mainbowl of the National Stadium, Surulere in Lagos and died from congestive heart failure. An autopsy later revealed that the he had an enlarged heart and high blood pressure.
Okwaraji, before his death enjoyed a blosoming career which saw him feature for Dinamo Zagreb, VfB Stuttgart and SSV Ulm. He was called up to the Green Eagles squad in 1988 and at that year's African Nations Cup, he scored one of the fastest goals in the history of the championship against the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon. 
Okwaraji was also a qualified lawyer who had a masters in international law from the University of Rome. His bust statue was erected at the National Stadium in Lagos in his memory.
Former international, Obobaifo enjoyed a bloosoming football career alongside the likes of Samson Siasia, Austin Eguavoen, Etim Esin and Stephen Keshi in Belgium before death came calling. Obobaifo lost his life in an auto crash in Belgium.
The former youth international and younger brother of former Super Eagles winger, Finidi George was a victim of crowd violence at match venue. Igeniwari, who was then a player with Rangers International of Enugu, was shot by hooligans after an FA Cup game against Stationery Stores and later died from the gunshot injury. He was a member of the Golden Eaglets team to the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Ecuador that same year.
AMIR ANGWE, October 29, 1995: 
Former Julius Berger FC forward, Amir Angwe collapsed just one minute before the end of an African Cup Winner’s Cup semi-final match with Maxaquene of Mozambique. Doctors at the stadium were unable to revive the player after he slumped. Angwe was later pronounced dead of what doctors believed was a heart attack.
 Former junior international, Tunde Charity died after sustaining a head injury during a league game with his club Insurance of Benin against Nigerdock of Lagos. He was a member of the Flying Eagles team that participated in the 1989 U-20 World Championship held in Saudi Arabia. 
One of the numerous young Nigerian players seeking greener pastures in Europe. Awanegbo ended up playing in Germany and died after only 12 minutes of play in a game. His death was attributed to cardiac arrest.
JOHN IKOROMA, February 2000: 
Nigerian youth international, John Ikoroma, collapsed and died of a heart attack during a friendly match in the United Arab Emirates. A former player for Rangers International FC and Nigeria’s under-17 national team, Ikoroma was in a trial match for Al-Wahda against Kazakh Club Astona when he collapsed 20 minutes before the final whistle. He died in hospital.
GABRIEL ANATS, April 2000: 
A prized player with Iwuanyanwu Nationale football club of Owerri, Anats collapsed off the pitch and died.
SAM OKOYE, August 31, 2005:
Former Flying Eagles goalkeeper, Okoye represented Nigeria at the 1999 FIFA World Youth Championship hosted by the country. The former Enugu Rangers and Enyimba International safe hands, moved to Iranian Azadegan League club Sorkhpooshan Delvar Afzar FC in 2005. Four months after his 25th birthday, whilst living in Teheran, Okoye reportedly died there after a few days' illness. The cause and circumstances of his death have not been adequately elucidated and Iranian authorities did not release his remains for repatriation and burial in Nigeria until May 2006.
BONIFACE DANJUMA, August 12, 2006: 
This Plateau United player died after he slumped and was confirmed dead 13 minutes into the second half of his team tie with city rival JUTH of Jos at Nassarawa stadium, Keffi.
9 WOMEN FOOTBALLERS, December 23, 2008: 
Nigerian football was thrown into mourning just before Christmas in 2008 when nine amateur women footballers and two coaches were were burnt beyond recognition in an horrific auto crash on their way from Jos, Plateau State.
FC JIMETA PLAYERS, January 26, 2009: 
With the New Year celebrations just being rounded up and with the country just getting over the sad episode a month before, tragedy struck again as 15 members of an amateur side, FC Jimeta of Adamawa State died in a ghastly auto crash. Twelve of the dead were players while the remaining three were trainers.
13 OCEAN BOYS FC SUPPORTERS, February 21, 2009: 
In a single swoop, 13 football supporters of Nigeria Premier League side, Ocean Boys FC of Yenegoa were killed by persons suspected to be cultists, on their way to attending a Premier League match involving their team and Bayelsa United at the Ughelli Township Stadium in Delta State.
OROBOSA ADUN, May 26, 2009: 
He was the first choice goalkeeper of Warri Wolves F.C of Warri in Delta State. Adun slumped and died during training as a result of injury (internal haemorrhage) sustained when he was attacked by thugs of Rangers International of Enugu.
ABEL TADOR, June 14, 2009:
 It was initially a moment of joy as Bayelsa United clinched the league title following a 2-2 draw against Warri Wolves that fateful evening. Celebrations, however, turned to sour after team captain, Tador was shot dead few hours after. Tador was driving home in a joyous mood after his team's success when he was stopped by armed robbers. He was reportedly shot in the head as he tried to reverse his car to escape from the ambush. He died as a result of the gunshot wound.
ENDURANCE IDAHOR, March 6, 2010: 
Idahor collapsed in the opponent’s box after only 15 minutes during the match involving his Sudanese club, Al Merreikh against Alamal Atbara. He died in the ambulance on the way to the hospital. Autopsy report revealed that he suffered a circulatory collapse from a heart attack. A prolific scorer who had a stint with Nigeria’s U-23, he team played for Julius Berger and Dolphins before moving to Sudan in 2006 where he led the club to their first CAF Confederation Cup final since 1989.
EMMANUEL OGOLI, December 12, 2010:
Ocean Boys FC defender, Emmanuel Ogoli slumped on the pitch of the Samson Siasia Stadium, Yenagoa after playing for only 39 minutes during the team's week six tie against visiting Niger Tornadoes of Minna which ended 2-1 in favour of the homers. The stopper who joined Ocean Boys from sister club, Bayelsa United, suddenly collapsed on the pitch and was rushed to a waiting ambulance at the stadium but died on the way to the hospital.
UCHE OKAFOR, January 6, 2011: 
Former Nigeria international defender, Okafor, was found dead, hanging at his Dallas, Texas home in America. He was a member of the victorious 1994 Nations Cup team and played a match at the 1994 World Cup, where the Super Eagles qualified for the second round in a first ever appearance at the Mundial. He won a total of 34 caps for the national team.
Okafor began his football career at the defunct ACB Football club, Lagos. He then moved to Belgium to join first division side KSV Mechelen as was the norm of Nigerian players then. He also played for Hannover 96 before ending his career in Major League Soccer (MLS) with Sporting Kansas City, formerly known as Kansas City Wizards in the United States.
His death which was initially thought to be suicide raised controversy. FBI report later revealed that Okafor was murdered. Further Investigations are still ongoing  to get to the root of Okafor’s death.
JOSEPH DOSU: Born June 19, 1973, former Nigerian international, Dosu perhaps remains the most luckiest player who cheated death while playing for the national team.
Dosu was the goalkeeper during Nigeria’s U-23 side, the Dream Team’s conquest at Atlanta Olympics in 1996 where the team won the first ever gold medal in football by an African Country. 
Formerly Julius Berger’s safe hands, the Olympics feat led to Dosu securing a high-profile move to Italy where he teamed up with Reggiana in the Serie A but he never got to make an impact. He also became a full international with Nigeria’s senior team, the Super Eagles and featured in three international games.
Dosu featured in November 1996 FIFA World Cup qualifier against Burkina Faso, which the Super Eagles won 2–0 in Lagos. He also played in the friendly against Morocco in December 1996, where he kept another clean sheet, and the FIFA World Cup qualifer against Kenya in January 1997. The match against Kenya which ended in a 1–1 draw, was his last game for the Nigeria. 
The dark complexioned goaltender’s career came to an abrupt end after a serious car accident in Lagos in 1997, almost left him paralyzed. Although, Dosu survived the near-fatal crash he never got to play football again. He now works as players’ agent and as a television analyst.

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