Buhari, NFF, ex-Falcons mourn Mabo

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The family of Ismaila Mabo, a former coach of the Super Falcons who passed away on Monday at the age of 80, has received condolences from the president, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (red).

After a protracted illness, the former Falcons coach passed away early on Monday morning at his home in Jos, the Plateau State’s capital.

In a statement released by the president’s senior special assistant for media and publicity, Garba Shehu, Buhari expressed his condolences to the coach’s family for the loss of their father and husband, Ismaila Mabo Nakande, a seasoned football manager who is known for having worked with and managed some of the most talented female players in Nigerian football history.

The declaration read, “Mabo was also a legendary footballer in the domestic league, making his mark as a player and captain of Mighty Jets of Jos and also representing the country as a formidable central defender with the Green Eagles.

“As the head coach of the Nigeria women’s national team at the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup, 2000 Summer Olympics and 2004 Summer Olympics, the President believes that Mabo’s legacy will live on in the players and the coaches that came in contact with him during his career, as well as the young athletes that will draw inspiration from his managerial abilities in the years to come.

 “The President prays that the memory of the departed will be a blessing to those who mourn.”

The iconic coach, who was buried on Monday following Islamic rituals, was lauded by ex-Falcons players, the NFF president, and journalists.

According to NFF president, “The death of Pa Ismaila Mabo came to me as a huge shock.

“Again, we have lost a great man and an accomplished trainer-of-trainers in the Nigerian football fraternity, and my heart goes out to his immediate family and the other loved ones he has left behind.

“Mabo laid down a big marker for other coaches when he steered the Super Falcons to the quarter-finals of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in the USA in 1999. Yet, he was simple, humble and humane. We will miss him, but we are consoled that he left giant footprints in the sands of time and pray that God will grant him eternal rest.”

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