The remains of the former Super Falcons coach, Ismaila Mabo, has been laid to rest according to Islamic rites in Jos the Plateau State capital.
The former Nigeria defender passed away after a protracted illness with his burial witnessed by a mammoth crowd.
Ismaila who died on Sunday at the age of 80 was the head coach of the senior women’s national team at the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup, 2000 Summer Olympics and 2004 Summer Olympics. He led Nigeria to the quarter-finals of the World Cup, the team’s best-ever result.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari extended his condolences to the family of Ismaila Muhammad Abubakar, popularly known as Ismaila Mabo Nakande.
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The President prays that the memory of the departed will be a blessing to those who mourn according to a statement signed by his Senior Special Assistant, Garba Shehu.
In the same vein, the minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare has joined in the mourning of Mabo, describing him as a giant in the world of Nigerian football.
“His contribution to the game is unquantifiable. He stayed long even after retirement to give back to the round leather game.
“Pa Ismaila Mabo lived an impactful life and a special space is reserved for him when the history of Nigerian football development is written,” he said.
Also, the Plateau State Governor Simon Bako Lalong says he received with shock but total submission to the will of God the death of Mabo.
Lalong said his death is a great loss not only to his immediate family but to the entire people of Plateau State and Nigeria at large considering the impact he made in his sporting career and football in particular.
According to the Governor, Mabo is credited with discovering and mentoring young talents, grooming them and exposing them to great clubs in the State, Nigeria and the world thereby enhancing the sport.
Similarly, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) also expressed deep sorrow over the death of the former Nigeria defender.
“Mabo laid down a big marker for other coaches when he steered the Super Falcons to the quarter-finals of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in the USA in 1999. Yet, he was simple, humble and humane. We will miss him, but we are consoled that he left giant footprints in the sands of time and pray that God will grant him eternal rest,” President of NFF, Alhaji Ibrahim Gusau said yesterday.
By Jide Olusola, Muideen Olaniyi and Dickson S. Adama, Jos
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