US: FIFA boss condoles Nigeria on Keshi's death

New York, US (PANA) - FIFA's President Gianni Infantino has expressed his deepest sympathy over the death of Stephen Keshi, former coach of the Nigerian senior national football team, the Super Eagles.

Infantino, in a letter of condolence sent to the President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick, said: "I would like to express my deepest sympathy on hearing the news of the loss of the Nigeria great Stephen Keshi."

"On behalf of the international football community, please allow me to extend my deepest condolences to the football community of Nigeria and, most importantly, to Stephen’s family, friends and love ones.

"We hope that, in some way, our words of support may help bring a little bit of peace and solace in this time of sadness," the FIFA boss stated in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by PANA in New York on Thursday.

He noted that "with many African countries looking for coaching experience from outside the continent to lead their countries at major tournaments, Keshi was a beacon of hope for coaches from the mother continent."

"Not only was he the first Nigerian to lead his country to the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) title, he was the first African coach to lead a team to the Round of 16 at a World Cup, achieving that feat at Brazil 2014," he stressed.

Meanwhile, more messages of sympathy have also flooded social media after news of Keshi's death stunned the global footballing community.

Sunday Oliseh, a former Nigeria coach who played alongside Keshi, stated: "Horrible news and a sad day. We lost an iconic hero", while former Zambia international Kalusha Bwalya noted: "I can't believe it. I am in shock. Football legend."

Also, Pinnick, who is the Nigeria's football boss, said: "Keshi was a superhero, and his death is a big loss to Nigeria as a nation, not only to Nigeria football."

Keshi, who was also a former captain of the Super Eagles, died in Benin City, the Edo State capital, on Tuesday at the age of 54. He brought honours to Nigeria both as a player and  coach.

He was removed as manager of the Nigerian national football team in 2015.
-0- PANA AA/VAO 9June2016

09 june 2016 14:13:15

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