SHOOTING STARS DEFENDER KILLED BY STRAY BULLET IN BAYELSA

The Nigeria Football Federation have sympathized with Shooting Stars Football Club of Ibadan following the shocking death of the club’s defender, Izu Joseph, reports CompleteSPORTS

The centre-back who linked up with the Oluyole Warlords from Bayelsa United three years ago was reportedly hit by a stray bullet shot by men of the military Joint Task Force who were involved in fierce fighting with militants on Sunday in Okaki, Bayelsa State, in the south-south part of Nigeria.

“Our thoughts are with the management and staff of 3SC on the shocking loss of their player, Izu Joseph. May his soul rest in peace,” the NFF wrote on their official Twitter handle on Monday.

Similarly, Nigeria Professional Football League champions, Enugu Rangers, Federation Cup finalists Nasarawa United and Sunshine Stars have also condoled the Ibadan- based side on the player’s demise.

“Our sincere thoughts are with 3SC and the family of Izu Joseph. May his soul rest in peace,” read a tweet on the Flying Antelopes Twitter handle.

The statement on the Nasarawa read thus: “We hereby sympathize 3SC on the demise of the defender Izu Joseph

NFF President Amaju Pinnick was much grieved when he learnt of the incident, and immediately put a telephone call through to the father of the late footballer, who agonizingly narrated the tragic circumstances in which the young Joseph was killed.

Pinnick said afterwards: “I am sorely distraught with what has happened. It is a most unfortunate incident that has brought sorrow to the Nigeria football family, barely a week after we were celebrating victory in a World Cup qualifying match.

“What has happened is most painful. I want to appeal to our football players to always be mindful of the company they keep and the places they go at all times, because they are special assets. At the end of the day, each and everyone of us will die, but we don’t want to be losing football players in the manner in which Izu Joseph has died.”

The NFF boss prayed for the repose of the soul of the late Izu Joseph, while also praying that God will give the family he has left behind, the Shooting Stars Sports Club and the Nigeria football family the fortitude to bear the loss.

Izu Joseph, a regular with Shooting Stars Sports Club in the just –ended Nigeria Professional Football League season, and who helped the Oluyole Warriors retain Premiership status, was shot dead in his home –town, Okaki in Ahoada West Local Government Area of Rivers State on Sunday.

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