Reports from Nigeria indicate that former Super Eagles coach Stephen Keshi has died. Nigeria’s leading media houses PUNCH and VANGUARD reported the news, with scanty details.
VANGUARD reported that Ademola Olajire, an Assistant Director of Communications in the Nigeria Football Federation, said that Keshi died after he was rushed to a hospital after complaining of pain in his legs. He was in Benin.
Keshi had a love-hate relationship with the Nigerian FA, but handled the national team several times. He earlier led the revival of Togo, leading them to a historic World Cup place. Keshi is one of only two , with Egypt’s Mahmoud El-Gohary, to have won the Africa Cup of Nations as both a player and a coach.
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Nigeria legend, Stephen Keshi, dies at 54
— The NFF (@thenff) June 8, 2016
— Bashir Ahmad (@BashirAhmaad) June 8, 2016
So sad to wake up to the news of the demise of an African and Nigerian legend Stephen Keshi,Praying for his family ! ?
— Victor Wanyama (@VictorWanyama) June 8, 2016
— Evelyn Watta (@evelynwatta) June 8, 2016
Former Nigeria coach ‘Big Boss’ Keshi dies
Abuja, Nigeria | AFP |
The charismatic coach, dubbed “Big Boss” by fans, died in Benin City in southern Nigeria from “cardiac arrest”, the statement said.
His brother and manager, Emmanuel Ado, confirmed Keshi’s death.
“It is true, my brother has passed on. He has gone to meet his wife,” Ado said, referring to Kate, Keshi’s wife of 35 years, who died last year after a long battle with cancer.
“He was not ill at all, never showed any signs of illness, but we suspect he never got over the death of his wife,” said a friend of Keshi’s who spoke on condition of anonymity.
In 2013, Keshi led his country’s team to victory in the Africa Cup of Nations.
A year later, Nigeria qualified to the Round of 16 of the World Cup in Brazil.
Keshi also coached other national squads, qualifying Togo to the 2006 World Cup and taking charge of Mali.
The “Big Boss”, as he was named by fans because of his charisma and leadership skills, sparked an exodus of Nigerian players to Belgium in 1985 when he joined top club Anderlecht.
He also played for Strasbourg in France and Stade Abidjan in Ivory Coast.