How Did Saudi Arabia Qualify For The World Cup Fallen Heroes in the Annals of Nigeria Football History

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Fallen Heroes in the Annals of Nigeria Football History

Professional football as a competitive sport has had its fair share of tragedies over the years. It’s entertaining and dangerous especially on the playground. The Nigerian sporting family witnessed one of the most horrific football tragedies on 23 December 2008, when nine female amateur footballers and two coaches were burnt beyond recognition in a car accident on their way from Jos, state Plateau.

The tears of sadness had barely dried, when 15 members of the amateur side, FC Jimeta from Adamawa state, Nigeria, died in another auto accident on the 26th of January 2009. Twelve of the dead were players, while the three other coaches.

The tragedy that happened on 26 January 2009 had barely subsided when another devastating incident happened on 21 February 2009. In one swoop, 13 football fans of the Nigerian Premier League Ocean Boys FC of Yenegoa were killed by suspected assailants that. being a cultist, on their way to attend a premier league match involving their team and Bayelsa United at the Ughelli Township Stadium in Delta State, Nigeria.

Nigerian footballers have also had their fair share of tragedies on and off the field of play. Below is a list of some of the players who have gone all out to bring joy to football loving Nigerians but later succumbed to the cold hand of death.

  • Samuel Okwaraji

Nigeria’s enterprising midfielder Samuel Tochukwuma Okwaraji collapsed and died on August 12, 1989 during a World Cup qualifier between Nigeria and Angola. He died of a heart condition.

  • Amir Angwe

Amir Angwe died on the pitch while starring for Julius Berger FC on October 29th 1995. It was later discovered that he died of a heart attack.

  • George Igenewari

The younger brother of former Nigerian international – George Finidi was killed by a bullet from rival fans during an FA Cup match involving his club – Rangers FC and Stationary Stores of Lagos in 1995.

  • Tunde Charity

He was a member of the Flying Eagles team that participated in the 1989 U-20 World Championship held in Saudi Arabia. He died from a head injury sustained on the pitch while appearing for Bendel Insurance FC in a league match in 1997.

  • Boniface Danjuma

This Plateau united player died on August 12, 2006 after he collapsed and was confirmed dead 13 minutes into the second half of his team’s match with city rival JUTH from Jos at Nassarawa stadium, Keffi.

  • Orobosa Adun

He was the first choice goalkeeper of Warri Wolves FC from Warri Delta State. He collapsed and died on 26 May 2009 during training as a result of an injury sustained when he was attacked by Rangers international bandits from Enugu.

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