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Buhari, NFF Mourn Former Super Falcons Coach Mabo




President Muhammadu Buhari and the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) have extended their condolences to the family of Ismaila Mabo, a former coach of the Super Falcons who passed away on Monday at the age of 80.

The former Super Falcons coach passed away early on Monday at his residence in Jos, the Plateau State’s capital, following a protracted illness.

Mabo, who is regarded as the most successful Nigerian women’s football coach, guided the Falcons to their best-ever performance at the Women’s World Cup in 1999, finishing in the quarterfinals. The late Super Falcons coach also served as the team’s head coach at the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games.

In a statement issued by president Buhari’s senior special assistant for media and publicity, Garba Shehu, the president described coach Mabo as a seasoned football manager, credited to having worked with and managed some of the best talented female players in Nigeria’s football history.

The statement 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.”

Also, the president of the NFF, Ibrahim Gusau, described the demise of the former Super Falcons coach as a huge shock.

Gusau described the legendary coach as an accomplished trainer of trainers as he prays for God to grant the departed coach eternal rest.

He said, “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.

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“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.”