The technical director of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), and former coach of the Super Eagles, Shuaibu Amodu, has died in his sleep at his residence in Benin, the capital of Edo state, the NFF announced early Saturday.
Mr. Amodu, a four-time coach of the national team, passed on on Friday night shortly after complaining of chest pain, the NFF said in a post on its Twitter handle. He was 58.
Mr. Amodu was appointed technical director of the Eagles in April 2016.
His death came as the nation is still reeling from the loss of Stephen Keshi, the country’s football legend, who died three days ago, aged 54.
Keshi assisted Amodu at the 2002 edition of the Africa Cup of Nations in Mali.
Amodu managed the senior team different times, the first being after the exit of Clemens Westerhof in 1994.
When Keshi was sacked in July 2015, Amodu took over until Sunday Oliseh was appointed.
While Keshi is yet to be buried, his own remains will be interred later in the day in accordance with Islamic rites.
Both men were based in Benin.
Shaibu shot to national limelight in 1989 when he guided unfancied BCC Lions to FA Cup glory and then followed it up by winning the now rested CAF Cup Winners Cup in 1990.
He cemented his status as one of the nation’s best local coaches when he moved to El-Kanemi Warriors and went on to win the FA Cup again in 1991.
And when Clemens Westerhof ended his relationship with the Super Eagles after their second round ouster by Italy at USA’94, Shaibu was the obvious choice to take over.
However, soon after a decent showing at the King Fahd International Tournament in Saudi Arabia in 1995 he was relieved off his duties as national team coach only to be recalled a year later.
Shaibu was seconded to help 3SC Shooting Stars of Ibadan in their quest to lift the CAF Champions Cup in 1996 but although they reached the final, they ultimately lost to Zamalek in a penalty shootout in the second leg in Cairo.
Again Shaibu’s stint with the Super Eagles was ended in 1997 prompting him to head to South Africa where he took charge of one of the biggest side’s in the ‘Rainbow Nation’ Orland Pirates.
However, the Benue State-born indigene was once again summoned to take charge of the Eagles; but after securing qualification for the 2002 World Cup finals in Korea and Japan, Shaibu was sacked primarily on account of his face-off with Nigeria football officials at the Nations Cup, which held in Mali early that year.
Six years later Shaibu was back in charge of the Eagles and again ensured they made it to the first World Cup to be hosted in Africa (South Africa 2010), only to be again relieved of his duties before the competition kicked off proper.
However, as compensation the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) paid for Shaibu’s trip to South Africa to watch the World Cup.
He was re-appointed Nigeria manager in October 2014, replacing Stephen Keshi. It was his fifth spell in charge of the country. Keshi returned to the role two weeks later but was fired in July 2015 and Amodu took over the Eagles again temporarily. He was replaced by Sunday Oliseh on a permanent basis later that month.
Fans of the late coach took to social media to express shock at his sudden demise. They paid tribute to his efforts and expressed shock that Nigeria had lost two star coaches under a week