NFF, Amiesimaka mourn ‘The Caterpillar’ Emetole

Ex-Green Eagles winger, Adokiye Amiesimaka, has expressed shock on the passing away of Kelechi Emetole, his former teammate in the national team.

Emetole, 66, a former Eagles and Rangers International of Enugu winger, on Wednesday, died in India where he was receiving treatment for cancer of the throat.

As a former Nigerian International, he won 17 caps for the Green Eagles.

Emetole was also a member of the coaching crew to the U-17 World Cups in China in 1985 and Canada in 1987.

Amiesimaka recalled Emetole`s playing days in the national team and described him as “a good player and gentleman.

“We were colleagues in the national team. A fine gentleman and player, I will surely miss him. Honestly, I lack words to mourn him,’’ he said.

Emeka  Akabueze, also an ex-Rangers winger, said that Emetole`s death came as a big shock to him and Rangers family.

“I received the news of his death early today and I have yet to recover from the shock. He was a jolly good fellow in the national team and in Rangers team of his days.

“ As we speak, ex-Rangers players are meeting in Awka after receiving the news about his death. The Nigerian football fraternity will miss him,’’ he said.

Akabueze called on federal and state governments to cater for ex-internationals after serving the nation.

“We have lost some notable ex-internationals in the last two years. I urge the federal and state governments to cater for ex-internationals after serving the country.

“It is not good to leave them idle when they are retired. Government at all levels should assist them in retirement,’’ he said.

The Nigeria Football Federation has joined soccer-loving Nigerians to grief over the demise of ex-Super Eagles assistant coach, Kelechi Emetole.

Emetole passed away in the early hours of Wednesday in India, where he was being treated for throat cancer.

Meanwhile, the NFF took to its official Twitter handle to sympathise with his bereaved family and friends.

“Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the ex-int’l & former Beach soccer head coach Kelechi Emetole, following his demise.’’

Emetole played for the Green Eagles at the 1976 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Ethiopia before swapping the pitch for the dugout.

As a coach, he predominantly served as an assistant in the national team fold.

However, he managed several top teams in the country, including Enyimba, Enugu Rangers and most recently, Heartland.(NAN)

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