Sports

BREAKING: Former Super Falcons coach Godwin Izilein passes away at 81

Godwin Izilein, one of Nigeria’s most accomplished football coaches, passed away on Wednesday at 81 in Benin City, the Edo State capital.

Izilein, who coached the Super Falcons to victory in the 2004 WAFCON in Johannesburg, reportedly succumbed to complications related to abdominal issues.

A member of the Izilein family, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed the demise to The PUNCH, stating that the veteran coach breathed his last in a hospital in Benin City.

Kehinde Osagiede, the Media Officer of Edo State-owned Bendel Insurance, also verified the sad news, expressing the club’s sorrow over the loss.

Regarded as one of Nigeria’s best indigenous coaches, Izilein was pivotal in guiding the Falcons to their sixth Women’s Africa Cup of Nations glory in 2004.

However, his tenure was marred by controversy when protesting Falcons players demanded their camp allowances and winning bonuses in Johannesburg, leading to a fallout with football officials.

Despite the team’s success, Izilein faced challenges in receiving his entitled $12,000, with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) failing to fulfil its commitment for over 19 years.

In his final interviews, the former coach had appealed to the NFF to settle his outstanding allowances.

Izilein’s coaching legacy extends beyond the Falcons, having managed local sides NNB FC and Bendel Insurance.

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