By Sharon Ekhiwere
Ismaila Mabo, a former coach of Nigeria’s national women’s team, the Super Falcons, is dead. According to the Premium times newspaper, Mabo’s brother, Mansir Salihu Nakande, confirmed the news early Monday morning.
“The death of our elder brother, Ismaila Mabo, has occurred in the early hours of this Monday, after a protracted illness,” Premium times quoted him.
He said the funeral prayer will hold later on Monday. Late Coach Mabo died at 80.
Mabo’s contributions to Nigerian both as a player and as a coach are immense.
He is credited with opening the doors to the national team for many schoolboys, including Tony Igwe, Peter Anieke, Sam Garba Okoye, and Eyo Essien.
Also, top on his list of achievements, Mabo led the Nigerian women’s team, the Super Falcons, to their best-ever outing at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 1999, where they reached the quarter-finals.
He also led Nigeria to the 2000 Summer Olympics and 2004 Summer Olympics.
He was a renowned coach who had a deep understanding of the game, and his work with the Super Falcons helped the team achieve many notable successes.
He focused his coaching style on developing young talent and instilling discipline, which helped his players reach their full potential on the field.
As expected, tributes have been pouring in for the veteran coach. Mabo’s exit is the second high-profile death of a prominent coach in Nigeria’s women’s football space this year.