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NFF shocked, saddened by Domo Okara’s death

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The Nigeria Football Federation has described as shocking and very sad, the death on Saturday of Head Coach of Bayelsa Queens Football Club, Domo Okara.

“We are shocked and saddened beyond words. In all sincerity, we are still trying to process the report. I have spoken to a lot of people who said they interacted with him days earlier and he was hale and hearty. This is a very sorrowful development.

“Okara was one of the pillars of women football coaching in the country. Indeed, it is a period of mourning for the women’s game in our country because the man was more than a coach. He was a mentor, a leader and an inspiration to many. We pray that God will give him eternal rest and also grant the immediate family, his friends, Bayelsa Queens FC family and Nigeria football the fortitude to bear this sudden and big loss,” NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, said on Sunday.

Domo Okara, who led Bayelsa Queens to win the Nigeria Women Premier League title in 2022 and also won the Federation Cup with the team the following year, was reported to have died suddenly on Saturday morning.

He led the team from Yenagoa to win the bronze medals at the 2nd edition of the CAF Women’s Champions League competition in Morocco – the only Nigerian team to have achieved that feat.

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Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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OBITUARY

CAF commiserates with  family of the late Egyptian player, Ahmed Refaat

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The Confédération Africaine de Football has conveyed its condolences to the family of Ahmed Refaat, saying that it is saddened by the news of the sudden passing of the Egyptian player.

 Ahmed Refaat, 31,  who played for Morden Future in the Egyptian Premier League, suffered cardiac arrest last March died on Saturday, 6th  July 2024.

CAF President, Dr Patrice Motsepe conveys heartfelt condolences to the family and also to  Egyptian Football Association and the entore Egyptian Football family.

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OBITUARY

Egypt international Refaat dies aged 31

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Egypt international Ahmed Refaat has died aged 31, his club Modern Sport said on Saturday, following a heart attack during an Egyptian Premier League match in March.

Refaat was placed in an intensive care unit on March 11 after collapsing in the 88th minute of Modern Future’s league match against Al-Ittihad Alexandria.

The striker, who was fitted with a pacemaker, was discharged a month later and continued to receive treatment.

“Modern Future FC announces the death of Ahmed Refaat, first team and Egyptian national team player, as a result of a serious deterioration in his health,” the club said in a statement.

“He was transferred to the hospital to die after an uphill journey of struggle following the health crisis that occurred on March 11 2024.”

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Egypt captain and Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah paid tribute to his teammate.

“May God continue to bless his family and all his loved ones,” Salah wrote on X.

-Reuters

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OBITUARY

 Nigeria loses former sports minister

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A former Minister of Youth and Sports and one-time Military Administrator of Benue State, Air Vice Marshal Adebayo Lawal (retd.), has died at the age of 83.

The Punch reports that the  retired military officer passed away in his sleep in the early hours of Sunday, June 23, 2024, at his home.

The news was confirmed to The Punch by his daughter, Mrs. Yinka Enahoro, and corroborated by the Sergeant At Arms at the National Assembly, Air Commodore Sani Zakari (retd.).

Zakari stated, “AVM Frank Ajobena (retd.) further informed us that AVM Bayo Lawal passed on in his sleep at the early hours of Sunday, Jun 23, 2024.”

Born on September 14, 1941, in Offa, Kwara State, Lawal was a pioneer officer of the Nigerian Air Force, which he joined in 1963.

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He received his training as a military pilot in West Germany, graduating in 1964.

Throughout his illustrious career, Lawal held numerous high-ranking positions within the NAF.

These included Commander of NAF Port Harcourt (1969-1970), Commander of Enugu Air Force Base (1970-72), and two stints as Commander of NAF Kano (1972-1973 and 1975-1977). He also served as Air Officer Commanding HQ Tactical Air Command NAF Makurdi from 1977 to 1978.

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