Wednesday, June 8, 2016 8:20 pm
The world woke up early Wednesday to hear that former Chief Coach of Nigeria, Stephen Keshi has passed on at 54.
The untimely death, through cardiac arrest, of the ex Nigeria captain has triggered reactions across the world from stakeholders of the round leather game and indeed outside the football family.
Chelsea Football Club of London wrote in their twitter handle few hours after the death of Keshi in Benin, Edo State that “All at CFC are saddened to hear of former Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi’s death. He worked with John Mikel Obi and Victor Moses.”
The president of South Africa Football Federation (SAFA), Danny Jordan and the coach of the that country’s senior men team, Bafana Bafana, Mashaba were quoted to be shocked with the news of Keshi’s demise.
The twitter handle of the Bafana Bafana said: “SAFA Pres Danny Jordaan and coach Mashaba devastated by untimely passing away of former Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi.”
Former Nigerian Vice President, Abubakar Atiku also joined Nigerians in mourning the football legend, as he wrote that “I feel anguished waking up to the news that Stephen Keshi, former Super Eagles captain and coach has passed on.
“Keshi was such an admirable and dedicated man who did Nigeria proud with his talent in the game of football. May his soul rest in peace.”
Musician Femi Anikulapo Kuti said he was shocked when he heard the news.
“Shocking sad news of the passing of Stephen Keshi. RIP we pray for his family.”
Teammate in the Nigeria’s victorious Super Eagles squad that won the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations and the coach who took over from Keshi when Nigeria sacked him, Sunday Oliseh described the news as horrible and devastating.
“Horrible news and sad day as our legendary Captain and brother Stephen Keshi dies. May his blessed soul rest in peace. We lost an iconic hero today.”
Sunshine Stars, a team in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) said: “We commiserate with the entire football family on the passing of ex @NGSuperEaglescaptain and coach, Stephen Keshi.”
Former President of Zambia Football Federation, Kalusha Bwalya said he woke to hear the sad news about Keshi with amazement.
“I woke up to the sad news of the passing of my brother Stephen Keshi. I can’t believe it. I am in shock . Football legend. RIP.”
Incumbent president of Tanzania Football Federation, Jamal Malinzi in his condolence message to his counterpart in Nigeria, Amaju Pinnick said that “Tanzania Football Federation is joining Nigeria Football Federation in mourning the death of Stephen Keshi.”
Former Minister of Sports, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi also expressed deep sadness and shock over the passing of Keshi.
Abdullahi recalled that as Minister in 2013, he worked closely with the board of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) led by Aminu Maigari and Coach Keshi to achieve the historic victory in South Africa.
“That we were victorious and won the Nation’s Cup after 19 years was largely due to the leadership provided to the team by Keshi. He was passionate and committed to the Super Eagles team as he was to Nigerian football.