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Keshi: The World Pays Tribute

Late Stephen Keshi
Late Stephen Keshi

Tributes have continued to pour in from all around the world in praise of Nigeria’s football legend, Stephen Keshi who passed on yesterday at the age of 54.

Football’s world governing body, FIFA, in its tribute to the late Keshi described him as a natural leader.

“He took games by the scruff of the neck and dictated matches from his position of influence as captain,” read a statement on FIFA’s website

The head of the Confederation of African Football Issa Hayatou has also paid glowing tributes to Keshi, describing him as a “jewel” in the Nigerian football family.

Former English Premier League Champions, Chelsea FC, also tweeted its sadness at the demise of the football icon saying, “all at CFC are saddened to hear of former Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi’s death. He worked with Mikel & Victor Moses.”

And back home, Austin Eguavoen, former teammate to Keshi and also former coach of the Super Eagles, has asked the federal government to give the late Keshi a state burial as an honour for all the years of ‘meritorious service’ he rendered Nigeria.

Eguavoen said this would send a signal to current footballers that Nigeria would accord them their due respect if they served the country well.

Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Solomon Dalung, has promised that the federal government will immortalize the former Super Eagles’ coach.

“I will formally inform the government of the death of this great Nigerian, and I want to assure Nigerians that government will seek ways to immortalize him. I pray for the repose of his soul and that the family, especially the children he left behind, will find the strength to bear this devastating loss,” Dalung said.