Nigerian football fraternity was thrown into another mourning yesterday following the death of former Green Eagles defender, Yisa Sofoluwe, at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH). Sofoluwe, who was diagnosed of mild cerebral atrophy at the Prince and Life Medical Hospital, Ikorodu, was moved to LUTH last Friday when his condition became worse. The 54-year- old former defender gave up the ghost on Tuesday night while waiting for surgery.
The news of Sofoluwe’s ailment was first broken to Nigerians last week on FUBS, a WhatsApp platform for sportsmen and women. And on Tuesday afternoon, Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, and other Nigerians initiated moves to rescue Sofoluwe from the ailment. Dare reportedly sent money through another ex- international to support his medical bill. But all the efforts failed to save the Cote d’Ivoire ’84 and Maroc ’88 African Cup of Nations silver medallist.
Yesterday, Sports Minister, Sunday Dare, expressed ‘deep shock’ when news of Sofoluwe’s demise broke.
“The news of Yisa Sofoluwe’s death is quite devastating and one that hit me like a tornado,” Dare said in a statement yesterday. “He was a great, committed, disciplined, humble and patriotic player. He came ahead of his time.
“My condolences and prayers go to his wife, children, teammates and the football community. He died just when help was on the way to pay for his surgery. His death is a huge loss. Rest in peace Dean of Defence.”