Former coach of Nigeria’s Under-17 men’s football team and one-time assistant coach of the Super Eagles, Musa Abdullahi, was confirmed dead on Sunday after a long battle with stroke.
The native of Koton Karfe in Kogi State, who had been confined to his home for several years, was buried the same day according to Islamic rite. He died at the age of 61.
Musa Abdullahi was assistant coach to Fanny Amun in 1993, when Nigeria won its second Fifa U17 championship in Japan and subsequently led the team to triumph at the 2001 African Junior Championship in Seychelles, and a runners-up berth at the U17 World Cup in Trinidad and Tobago the same year.
The Nigeria Football Federetion (NFF) has expressed deep sorrow at the news. Speaking from Equatorial Guinea where he is on official duty for the Confederation of African Football (Caf), leader of the football fraternity, Amaju Pinnick, described coach Abdullahi as a “dedicated and tireless professional, a likeable person in every respect.”
“We feel very, very sad to lose him but God loves him more and he has gone to rest. Our prayer is for Almighty God to grant him peaceful rest and also grant the family he has left behind the fortitude to bear the huge loss,” he said via telephone.
Abdullahi also served as assistant coach of the senior national team at different times.
He also handled Premier Soccer League (PSL) side Free State Stars, guiding them to the South African top flight.