Amodu,Keshi's Tragedy :A Nation That Does Not Honour Its Heroes Is Not Worth Dying For

Published on: 18 June 2016

Just as Nigerians were trying to put behind them the rude shock of the death of former Super Eagles Coach Stephen Keshi, the football world woke up last Saturday morning to the news that four-time national team coach Shuaibu Amodu was dead, three days after the death of Keshi. But must the Nigeria Football Federation wait until their death to honour them?

When the immediate past Super Eagles coach, Sunday Oliseh announced his resignation, citing contract violations, lack of support and unpaid wages, as reason for leaving many were quick to discard his claims, saying that even while he was a player, his coaches were owed and "why does he think things would change in his time."

But the death of Shuaibu Amodu has lent credence to the fact that NFF is not living up to its responsibilities. Probably, if his salaries were paid as and when due, he might be alive today.

As the federation's technical director, Amodu was reportedly on N800, 000 per month but without an office and official accommodation.

According to his brother, Akuri Afegbua, the former Eagles coach died after complaints of chest pain and his inability to get the money NFF owed him, adding that his financial status had made it difficult for him to take care of himself and his immediate family.

"I think he died of frustration due to his financial status. He was not paid. He was complaining of not being paid and had no money to maintain himself and his immediate family," the cousin said.

NFF general secretary Muhammed Sanusi said the football authority would forever be grateful to Amodu for his amazing service to Nigerian and African football.

"He lived for his family and football, Amodu gave his heart and soul to Nigerian football and we can never thank him enough," Sanusi told BBC Sport.

The late NFF technical director first took charge of Nigeria at the age of 36, coached the Super Eagles on four different occasions.

He helped the country to qualify for the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea and led them to a third-place finish in the 2002 Nations Cup.

Under his stewardship, Nigeria qualified for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa but Amodu was sacked despite the team's third-place finish at the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations in Angola.