Kogi State Football Association and the state chapter of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria on Monday in separate messages expressed deep sorrow at news of the death of Coach Musa Abdullahi, a former head coach of Nigeria U-17.
Coach Abdullahi, aged 61, who was also a former Assistant Coach of the Uper Eagles died on Sunday afternoon in Lokoja after a bout of malaria fever having for several years battled with stroke.
He was buried on Sunday according to Islamic rites at his country home, Koton-Karfe, Kogi Local Government of the state.
In a statement signed by the FA secretary, Augustine Ogunmola, the state FA chairman, Yahaya Adama, described the death of Coach Abdullahi as unfortunate and a “big loss” to Nigeria football.
Adama commiserated with the family, the state and country and prayed God to grant them the fortitude to bear the irreplaceable loss.
“This is disheartening news. It’s a sad moment and big loss for Kogi and Nigeria football in general.
“Coach Abdullahi was one of the best coaches Kogi ever produced and was always appreciated for his simplicity, sincerity, dedication and passion for his coaching job. He will greatly be missed by all.
“He was known by all who came across him as a gentleman to the core, a very humble, highly dedicated and tireless professional who had real passion for the job. He was just a likeable person in every respect.
“The Kogi football family prays Almighty God grant him and eternal rest and also give the family he left behind the fortitude to bear the irreplaceable loss”, Adama stated.
Chairman of Kogi chapter of SWAN, Elder Paul Omale, in a statement signed by the secretary Joe Adama and Samuel Ahmadu respectively described the demise of Coach Abdullahi as a big loss to the nation’s football.
“We Sports writers in Kogi are pained by your (Coach Abdullahi) untimely exit and would have wished you still remain with us but God loves you more and knows the best. You will be in our Hearts Forever.”
Omale prayed for the repose of the soul of the departed coach eulogizing his contributions to the growth and development off football in the country.
“Our prayer is for Almighty God to comfort the family and give them the fortitude to bear the huge loss,” he said.
It would be recalled that the late Coach Abdullahi assisted Coach Fanny Amun to lead the U-17 National Team to a second FIFA U-17 World Cup title in Japan in 1993.
He also lead the team, several years later, to win the African title in Seychelles in 2001 and won silver at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Trinidad and Tobago the same year.
Abdullahi also served at different times as Assistant Coach of the Senior National Team, Super Eagles and at some period Head Coach of the Nigeria U20 Flying Eagles and assistant coachU-23 Dream Team IV and as well head coach at Dolphins from 2002 to 2005.
Late Abdullahi, who was appointed as a deputy Director at the Sport Council in Kogi State left behind his wife Hajiya Bilikisu Musa and four children.