Nigerian Coach Emeteole Is Dead

.NFF, Sports Minister Mourn Ex-Green Eagles Star –

Reports early Wednesday say former Coach of Nigeria’s senior national team Kelechi Emeteole is deed.

Emeteole, who was 66 years, was reported dead while receiving treatment on his throat cancer in India.

Many years ago, the veteran Coach, popularly known as Caterpillar during his playing days coached current defending champions of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) Enugu Rangers.

Emeteole also coached El-Kanemi Warriors of Maiduguri and Iwuanyawu Nationale now known as Heartland Football Club of Owerri, Enyimba FC, Lobi Stars and the Beach Soccer National Team, Supersand Eagles.

Meanwhile, condolence messages have been pouring in from many quarters including the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and the Sports Ministry.

In a press release same day, NFF expressed shock at news of the death of former Nigeria international player and one-time Head Coach of the Supersand Eagles, Emeteole.

Emeteole, who won 17 caps for the Senior National Team (then known as Green Eagles) and scored four goals, between 1975 and 1977.

“The death of Mr. Kelechi Emeteole came to us as a rude shock. A year ago, we lost two legends in the persons of Stephen Keshi and Shaibu Amodu in the month of June. This year, also in the month of June, we have now lost another legend who served the nation creditably, energetically and meritoriously.

“Our hearts go out to his caring family that he has now left: his doting wife and children as well as relations. We pray that they will have the fortitude to bear the loss. We also pray that the soul of the departed finds eternal rest. Nigerian Football will miss him dearly,” NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, told

Nicknamed ‘Caterpillar’ for his no–nonsense approach as a defender, Emeteole won a bronze medal with the Green Eagles at the 10th Africa Cup of Nations finals in Ethiopia in 1976, and later served as assistant coach of the Super Eagles.

Also, Minister of Youth and Sports Barrister Solomon Dalung has expressed dismay and sadness over the Emeteole’s death.

Reacting after the news filtered in from India, Dalung expressed shock that despite the timely intervention of Nigerians to raise funds for his medicals , he still succumbed to the cold hands of death.

He seized the opportunity to commiserate with the family of the deceased, the Nigeria Football Federation and the entire football confraternity over this unfortunate incident.

“When we were still grappling with the reality of Lizzy Onyenwenwa’s death, we have lost another sports icon who was dear many Nigerians. This is one death too many, but who are we to question God? All we can do as humans is to mourn the departed and accept the inevitability of death.”

Dalung reckoned that the former Heartland of Owerri and Supersand Eagles Coach was well loved by many after Nigerians came together to contribute their own quota to ensure his trip to India for advance treatment.

“I was impressed at how Nigerians home and abroad heeded the clarion call to donate their widows mite for the coach popularly known as ‘Caterpillar’. It was a testament to who he was and how much he was loved by all.

“If money and love were the main requirements to stay alive, Coach Kelechi Emetole would have still been alive today, but death is inevitable.”

He charged Nigerians to rally round the family of the departed in their moment of grief as he prayed for the soul of the departed to find perfect peace in the bossom of God.

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