Yekini, Okwaraji’s Mothers To Get N30,000 Stipends Monthly – NFF

okwaraji
File: Okwaraji died on 12th of August 1989 while Yekini passed away on May 4, 2012.

 

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has placed the mothers of late Super Eagles greats, Rashidi Yekini and Samuel Okwaraji on a monthly stipends of N30,000.

According to a tweet on the NFF official handle, the move is in furtherance to, and in  appreciation of the Minister of Sports, Mr. Sunday Dare’s efforts at helping the mothers of the duo.

“In furtherance to, and in appreciation of, the recent pronouncement of the HM Sports to put the mothers of late ex-internationals Sam Okwaraji and Rashidi Yekini on a monthly stipend,” the football body tweeted, “the NFF has decided to support this noble initiative with a further monthly stipend of N30k to each of the two matriarchs.”

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The NFF also revealed that it will review the condition of surviving mothers of former internationals that died in active service and decide what to give them monthly.

“In addition,” the tweet further read, “the NFF will henceforth review the situation of surviving mothers of our ex-internationals that died in active service for the country and resolve what to do for them on monthly basis.”

 

The Mothers Of Yekini And Okwaraji Will Get ‘More Benefits,’ Says Sports Minister

okwaraji
File: Okwaraji died on 12th of August 1989 while Yekini passed away on May 4, 2012.

 

The Minister of Youths and Sports, Mr Sunday Dare, has assured that the mothers of late Super Eagles stars, Rashidi Yekini and Samuel Okwaraji, will get more attention from the government.

Mr. Dare said this on Thursday via his official Twitter handle where he explained that the details of the welfare package will be communicated privately to the affected persons.

“The mothers of Rashidi Yekini and Sam Okwaraji will enjoy more benefits and renumeration as soon as the Ministry works out other details,” he said. “The final details will be privately communicated.”

READ ALSO: FIFA, NFF, Football Greats Remember Rashidi Yekini Eight Years After Death

He explained that government is recognizing the labours of these soccer heroes via their mothers.

According to him, “We value motherhood and service, and no contributor to our nation will be left behind as we seek to beat a new path.”

 

FIFA, NFF, Football Greats Remember Rashidi Yekini Eight Years After Death

Rashidi Yekini celebrates scoring in Nigeria’s 3-0 win over Bulgaria at the 1994 FIFA World Cup USA. Photo: FIFA.com
Rashidi Yekini celebrates scoring in Nigeria’s 3-0 win over Bulgaria at the 1994 FIFA World Cup USA. Photo: FIFA.com

 

Football governing body, FIFA, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) as well as football greats have paid glowing tributes to Rashidi Yekini, eight years after his demise.

Rashidi Yekini passed away on May 4, 2012 in Ibadan, Oyo State at the age of 48.
“Today we remember one of the World’s most feared strikers of his time, Rashidi Yekini who passed on to glory on this day in 2012. May his soul continue to Rest In Peace,” the NFF wrote on its official Twitter handle.

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FIFA posted on its World Cup Twitter handle, Yekini’s celebration after netting Nigeria’s first goal in the competition in 1994, describing it as one of the most iconic goal jubilations in the tournament’s history.

“Rasheed Yekini produced one of the most iconic celebrations in #WorldCup history after scoring the @NGSuperEagles’ first-ever goal in the competition,” said the football body.

“Africa sadly lost of its greatest-ever players #OnThisDay in 2012, but his legend will live on eternally.”

Nigeria’s Greatest

His former teammates, Mutiu Adepoju and a former Super Eagles captain and coach, Sunday Oliseh, reminisced their days playing together for the national team.

“8 years ago today,” Oliseh tweeted, “we lost Nigeria’s greatest striker of all time in Rashidi Yekini. May his blessed soul rest in peace.”

Created To Score 

In a eulogy to the late footballer, Adepoju who was called the “Headmaster” in his playing days, recalled how Yekini rescued the team in difficult times.

According to a series of tweets on his official Twitter handle, he described playing alongside the former Vitoria Setubal goal poacher as an honor, adding that Yekini gave his all for the country.

“Whenever we seem down and defeated, you always conjure your magic wand and get us out of trouble with your goals,” he wrote. “It was never a dull moment with you in camp as everyone’s ribs would be cracked at your jokes.

“You were never a contentious person and you saw everyone as your brother not minding their backgrounds. I will never forget you, Nigerians will never forget you. Always in our hearts. Rest in peace king Rasheed Yekini. You were created to score goals and your class remains unmatched!”

For an ex-Ghanaian defender, Anthony Baffoe, the former Abiola Babes star was one of the continent’s most dreaded strikers.

Baffoe tweeted: “One of Africa’s most terrific strikers Rashidi Yekini -today marks his 8th year of leaving us. Continue resting in peace Rashidi.”

Yekini’s Football Journey

The late Yekini was born in Kaduna and began his football career in the Nigerian league where he featured for teams like Abiola Babes, Julius Berger, and Gateway.

His stint abroad saw him lining up for Africa Sports National of Ivory Coast from where he teamed up with Vitória de Setúbal in Portugal and emerged as Primeira Liga’s top scorer in the 1993–94 campaign.

He struck 21 times during that season and went ahead to play for Sporting Gijon, Olympiakos, and FC Zurich.

Yekini made his senior debut for Nigeria in 1984 and went on to net 37 goals in 58 matches – the highest so far in the country’s history – until his retirement after the 1998 World Cup.

At the Senegal 1992 and Tunisia 1994 AFCONs, he scored four and five goals respectively, to emerge as the top scorer. Yekini was a member of the Super Eagles side that played in the 1994 and 1998 World Cups and also featured in the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

Why I Think Rashidi Yekini Could Have Been Murdered – Segun Odegbami

 

Retired Nigerian Footballer, Olusegun Odegbami, says he believes his colleague, Rashidi Yekini, may have been murdered in 2012.

Prior to his death, Yekini was reported to have been ill for an extended period of time after allegedly suffering from bipolar disorder, depression and some other undisclosed psychiatric condition.

But Odegbami in an interview with The Chat disagreed with the claims, saying “nobody could explain the circumstances of his death”.

“His people actually went and abducted him from his car and took him to a native doctor of some sort to cure him of his ‘insanity’, he explained.

“Why insanity?…because he was funding so many philanthropic projects, giving people his money which he had kept in the bank for so long.

“All through his professional career, he didn’t spend a dime of the money he was getting from Europe, so he had a lot of money in UBA at the time, because one of the managers was my friend.

“They had even advised him to invest but with his own native intelligence, he did not do much investment.

“He built his house, did some things but he had a lot of money so he felt like distributing and they said he was mad so they took him to the native doctor and started giving him all kinds of concoctions and the man passed on. So, that’s why I said he could have been murdered”.

Speaking of his life after football, the retired player said himself, as well as many of his colleagues who are still alive, are now suffering the consequences of over-exerting their joints.

According to him, most of them are not doing so well and have been faced with various challenges especially health-wise and with no support at all from the government.

“You’ll see me walk with a limp these days… that’s what happens to the rest of us,” the 67-year-old former footballer said.

“Probably we would have demanded (not for any payment of some sort) but to have created a system or an institution that will take care of us in old age which is something we have found out now”, he added.

FIFA, NFF, Fans Remember Nigeria’s Legend Rashidi Yekini Seven Years After

FIFA, NFF, Remember Nigeria's Legend Rashidi Yekini Seven Years After
A file photo of Rashidi Yekini. Photo: [email protected]

 

The memories of Nigerian football legend, Rashidi Yekini, have continued to remain fresh not just for his fans in the country, but also for football lovers across the world.

Seven years after he passed on, the world’s football governing body, FIFA and the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) among others took to Twitter on Saturday to pay tributes to the 1993 African footballer of the year.

The former Super Eagles forward who was born in Kaduna State started his professional footballing career in the Nigerian league, before moving to Côte d’Ivoire to play for Africa Sports National.

He also played for Portuguese side, Vitoria de Setubal, where he became the top goal scorer of the country’s first division in the 1993–94 Season, with 34 goals in 32 matches.

The first Nigerian to win the African Footballer of the Year also made his mark for Olympiacos FC, Sporting de Gijón, and FC Zürich, among others before returning to Africa where he later retired from international football.

Yekini is Nigeria’s highest scorer with 37 goals in 58 appearances, a record which is yet to be broken.

He died in a private hospital in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital on May 4, 2012, at the age of 48.

Read some the tweets from FIFA, NFF, and others below:

Saraki To Sponsor Football Tourney In Yekini’s Honour

Bukola Saraki, Rashidi YekiniNigeria’s Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has promised to sponsor an annual soccer tournament to immortalise late Nigerian legend, Rashidi Yekini.

Dr. Saraki, who was represented by the Director of Sports, Abubakar Bukola Saraki (ABS) Football Club, Alloy Chukwuemeka, gave the Senator’s promise during a visit to Yekini’s mother, Sikirat at her residence at Ijagbo in Oyun Local Government Area of Kwara State.

He explained that the tourney would be organised among U-13 boys in Oyun LGA especially Ira, the country home of the late soccer legend, where they believe another Yekini would emerge soon.

The Senate President added that for years to come, soccer fans all over the world would continually celebrate Yekini’s exploits in the round leather game.

He said that he had donated a giant trophy for the competition and some football kits to the contenders and the officials of the competition, which may coincide with the date Yekini died.

Late Football Legend, Rashidi Yekini, died on May 4, 2012
Late Football Legend, Rashidi Yekini, died on May 4, 2012

Senator Saraki had earlier renovated of the private mosque, shops and a six-flat apartment of Yekini’s mother and also gave her an undisclosed amount of money.

In her response, Yekini’s mother lauded the lawmaker for rewarding her late son with the kind gesture.

The Senate President further presented a new tricycle to Yekini’s younger brother, Hakeem, to help improve his standard of living.

He also called for the establishment of an institution in Nigeria, to honour sports heroes and heroines before their demise, based on their contributions to the growth of Nigeria in their chosen careers.

Solution To Nigerian Football Crisis Is Government’s Withdrawal – Tijani

Nigerian FootballVeteran Sports Journalist, Kayode Tijani, says the solution to the crisis that has continued to rock Nigerian Football and its administration is for the Nigerian Government to embrace total withdrawal from Nigerian football.

Speaking on the Friday edition of Sunrise Daily on Channels Television, Tijani said that the reason why the National Sports Commission, NSC, would always want to lord it over the Nigerian Football Federation is because there is so much money in the federation being put in by the government.

Nigeria escaped yet another FIFA ban as it beat the deadline set by the world football governing body for it to resolve the leadership tussle it has been embroiled with, although some Nigerians have frowned at FIFA’s seeming disregard for Nigerian laws and administrative peculiarities.

This view, Tijani disagreed with, saying that Nigeria having agreed to belong to FIFA had agreed to abide by the rules of the body.

“A lot of people are getting it wrong. Germany, during the first war and the second war left FIFA because to FIFA ‘you can’ t be here because of all your problems’. The same thing happened to South Africa, even England at a time (when) they had some disagreement.”

He, however, also took a swipe at FIFA because of their many threats, “I am not saying FIFA is this squeaky clean (organisation), they are not.

“FIFA is one of the most corrupt organisations in the world but when they do their thing they do it very well.

“So for me, it is the (Nigerian) Government’s problem from time immemorial. The Act for the NFF has been there for the past eight years, why don’t you pass it to solve all these problems?”

A ban by FIFA would ensure that Nigeria loses the opportunity to appear at international football competitions both at club and country level and Tijani believes this would not have been a loss but would rather ensure that monies are not wasted.

Local League Development

While Tijani expressed happiness that the country was able to resolve its issues, he noted that the fear of being banned by FIFA should not be Nigerians’ concern but how to develop the game within the country.

He noted that the Nigerian league should be more important to Nigeria and not the fear of losing spots at FIFA’s international competitions.

He highlighted a number of factors militating against the growth of Nigerian football leagues as well as the challenges Nigerian clubs were facing, including the situation whereby several players were not being paid their salaries.

Kayode mentioned some European leagues, as well as the South-African league as examples of places where governments have no hand in the management of their leagues.

“In Germany, the only involvement of government is infrastructure,” he said, maintaining his earlier stance that the Federal Government of Nigeria has to withdraw its direct involvement with the management and funding of the game.

Super Eagles

Tijani also had some words for the players and handlers of the Super Eagles as Nigerians look forward to the team’s next African Cup of Nations qualifier.

“Are we going to win? I don’t know. Stephen Keshi to me is a hero, he’s done so much but…why holding us to ransom with players who are not going to perform? The likes of Mikel, I don’t know why.

“Muda Lawal in midfield? Mikel? I can never compare a Mikel or some of these players who are holding us to ransom.

“I was in Sudan with them, they were talking about playing on synthetic (pitch), I am in shock! Rashidi Yekini scored in Sudan in 1993 and that was not even a pitch!” he said passionately.

Emenike Is The Striker Nigeria Has Been Looking For – Obanya

Following Nigeria’s Super Eagles’ 2-1 away win against Ethiopia’s Antelopes on Sunday, sports analyst, Nnamdi Obanya, on Monday said that Nigeria’s centre-forward, Emmanuel Emenike may be the striker Nigeria has been looking for to take after Nigeria’s highest goal scorer, Rashidi Yekini.

“Emenike might finally be the centre-forward we have been looking for.

Right now he has joined Rashidi Yekini and Sunday Onyeruka on more than one goal in every two games. Only three of them have done it. Segun Odegbami is flat on one goal every two games.

Emenike has 10 goals in 18 and at his goal scoring ratio, by the time he plays 58 games like Yekini, he would have scored 32. Yekini did 37 in 58 games,” Obanya said.

Although, Emenike’s goal ratio can improve, Obanya opined that “he is the striker Nigeria has been looking for.”

He said this while analysing Sunday’s game on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily.

Obanya, who had predicted a 2-1 win game in favour of Nigeria last week, said that Nigerians were harsh on the Super Eagles on Sunday. The Ethiopians were in control when the match started and kept possession of the ball, he said, adding that the pitch was also bumpy, hence the Super Eagles “couldn’t get a foot hold in the game.”

He faulted Nigerian coach, Stephen Keshi for making Odu Amadi, who is a natural winger play out of position in his 4-3-3 formation which led to an imbalance in the middle and “it ended up looking like a 4-2-3-1. Unfortunately, the 3 behind the one striker are all wingers which left Nigeria’s mid-field empty.

Speaking about the defense, he said that central defender Egwuekwe’s inexperience was exposed during the match as “a lot of times, the Ethiopians would get behind the full-back”, but his position allowed the Ethiopians have chances they should never have had.” Obanya however gave all credit to Egwuekwe’s central partner Oboabona. “Although Emenike was the man of the match, Oboabona single-handedly held down the defense”.

Obanya while praising the Super Eagles for playing “the classic away game football” faulted Mikel Obi for holding the ball for too long when he was counter-attacking his position. The Ethiopian goal keeper, was not the best in the world and the Eagles should have been ticking shots at him.

Remembering Yekini – Odegbami says late footballer was not mad

Segun Odegbami, a former Super Eagle captain and a close friend to late Nigeria football Legend, Rashidi Yekini on Friday said that there was no reason why the late footballer should have died.

“The Rashidi I saw six weeks ago, the Rashidi that I have been communicating with three weeks ago was very sane,” Mr Odegbami said.

The former captain said Yekini died a sacrificial death “for all that have been happening in the Nigeria sport.”

Yekini was not broke – Kayode Tijani

A sport journalist, Kayode Tijani who was close to the late Nigerian football legend, Rashidi Yekini on Wednesday refuted media reports that the former Super Eagle striker was mentally deranged and broke.

“Yekini is broke and needs rehabilitations, yet he does charity works,” Mr Tijani said.

He said Yekini had properties in Spain and Portugal and income from these properties goes to his First Bank account at Ibadan.

Yekini’s Ailment was protracted – Kubenje

In paying tribute to the late footballer Rashidi Yekini who died last week, Larry Kubenje who is from the National Association of Footballers was invited to join our breakfast show.