Benin – The National Association of Nigeria Footballers (NANPF) on Friday said the late Stephen Keshi’s achievements on and off the field of play had him immortalised.
Keshi, 54, who died on Wednesday in Benin, won the African Cup of Nations for Nigeria as a player in 1994 and repeated the same feat as coach in South Africa in 2013.
The association, who stated this during a condolence visit to the family of the late soccer star, promised to keep his legacies.
NANPF led by its General Secretary, Austin Popo, appealed to the Federal Government and football authorities to immortalise the former Super Eagles’ player and coach.
While describing Keshi as “a Hero of our time”, the NANPF said his demise was ‘shocking’.
“Wednesday, June 8, was a day heartbeats of men and women, boys and girls, skipped and stopped momentarily within and outside the football fraternity, regardless of political, religious and social divide.
“Not only in Nigeria, not only in Africa, was the world of football shaken.
“The big boss was our epitome of pride for his gallantry and achievements as a player and a coach.
“We mourn him as the world is doing. We are pained mostly because he went to his maker without an iota of notice,” the condolence message read.
Responding on behalf of the family, Ricky Aburime, said the family was comforted with the outpour of love since the demise of the football legend.
NAN reports that among the members of the NANPF that visited the family was a former Nigeria international, Edema Fuludu.