Posted by News Express | 30 June 2013 | 4,113 times
Nigeria’s football family has been thrown into deep mourning following the death, this morning, of former Super Eagles star Thompson Oliha. The celebrated midfielder and member of the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations-winning squad died after a brief illness at age 44.
A coach with the Kwara State Football Academy (KFA) in Ilorin, North-Central Nigeria, Oliha did not show any sign of illness until the later part of yesterday. He was on the bench yesterday morning when the KFA team played a team from Mali. He reportedly complained of malaria and was taken to a private hospital, where he died.
Oliha played for Bendel Insurance in (1985-1987), he also played for the Iwuanyanwu Nationale of Owerri (1988-1991), Africa sports (1992-1993), Maccabi Ironi Ashdod (1993-1994) and he ended his playing career with the Antalyaspor FC of Turkey in 1995.
News of Oliha’s death has been greeted with shock. KFA founder, Senator Abubakar Bukola Saraki, said he was “deeply devastated” by the news. “This is indeed a sad development for the growth of sport in Nigeria,” the former Kwara State Governor said.
Continuing, Saraki said: “Oliha gave his best to his country and club to the admiration of his colleagues; he will be remembered by Kwarans and Nigerians for his exploit as a coach at the Kwara State Football Academy in Ilorin. He was such a dedicated young man with the ambition to rise to the pinnacle of his coaching career. He will be sorely missed by all sport lovers. My thoughts and prayers are with the Oliha’s family and the siblings he left behind as they go through this moment of grief.
“I commiserate with the Nigeria Football Association and the Kwara State Chapter of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN). Such a loss is tragic beyond words.”
•Photo shows late Thompson Oliha.
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