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Millwall goalkeeper Sarkic dies at 26

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Carabao Cup Third Round - Wolverhampton Wanderers v Leeds United - Molineux Stadium, Wolverhampton, Britain - November 9, 2022 Wolverhampton Wanderers' Matija Sarkic celebrates after the match Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers/File photo

Millwall and Montenegro goalkeeper Matija Sarkic died on Saturday at the age of 26, the Championship club confirmed.

Sarkic fell ill in his home country while on international duty. Montenegrin daily newspaper Vijesti reported Sarkic died in an apartment in Budva early in the morning.

“Everyone at the club sends their love and condolences to Matija’s family and friends at this immensely sad time,” Millwall said in a statement.

“The club will make no further comment at this time and asks that the privacy of Matija’s family is respected.”

“Our dear Matija, we will miss you and your cheerful spirit, your work ethic and your great defending,” the Montenegro Football Association (FSCG) said in a statement, describing Sarkic as an “always smiling guy”.

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“On behalf of European football, our deepest condolences go to Matija’s friends, family and everybody who knew him. Rest in peace, Matija,” governing body UEFA said in a statement.

Sarkic made nine saves in Montenegro’s 2-0 defeat to Belgium in a friendly last Wednesday and was named man of the match for his outstanding performance.

Born in Grimsby, England, Sarkic played for Aston Villa and Belgian side Anderlecht at youth level. He made 33 appearances for Millwall after joining in August 2023 from Premier League side Wolverhampton Wanderers.

-Reuters

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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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