The Nigeria Football Federation will tomorrow honour late Super Eagles midfielder, Samuel Okwaraji by displaying his portrait round the eight venues of the Federation Cup quarter-finals in Enugu, Benin City, Neros Stadium, Oleh, Lokoja, Abuja, Ilorin and Makurdi.
President of NFF, Amaju Pinnick, praised the patriotism and professionalism of Okwaraji, an ardent footballer who died on August 12, 1989 while playing for Nigeria in a 1990 FIFA World Cup qualifying match against Angola at the National Stadium, Lagos.
He died of cardiac arrest.
Pinnick put a call through to Lady Jane Okwaraji, Samuel’s mother who lives in Owerri, the NFF website reported that the NFF president uttered the following:
“Mama, there is nothing I can say other than to tell you to continue to take solace in the fact that Sochukwuma was a star for Nigeria, a name that no one has been able to forget no matter how much they tried. He was the quintessential professional and patriot per excellence.
“Please be rest assured that Sochukwuma will continue to be in our hearts and consciousness. He was a rare gem. I assure you that the NFF will continue to keep in touch with you.”
Pinnick recalled that as a young boy, it was a tragic day for him, for he was at the National Stadium to watch the big match only to go home with a heavy heart after news broke of Okwaraji’s tragic departure. Several other Nigerians who were right inside the National Stadium, Lagos that day also went home brokenhearted.