Mabo never recovered from the death of his wife, says Izilein

A former coach of the Super Falcons, Godwin Izilein

A former coach of the Super Falcons, Godwin Izilein, has said that late Ismaila Mabo, who died on Monday at the age of 80, never recovered from his wife’s demise in 2022.

Izilein who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Calabar on Tuesday, said Mabo would be missed for his humility, work rate and his passion for the development of football.

He said Mabo’s passionate love for football saw him played with the national team at various times and coach the Super Falcons.

According to him, “Mabo had this undying love for football and has high work rate and was always ready to pass his knowledge to players.

“He never really recovered from the death of his wife who passed on in 2022.

“I am indeed saddened with his demise and pray that his efforts at seeing to the growth and development of football in the country never go unfulfilled even in death.”

Izilein appealed to the state and federal governments to ensure that those who sacrificed their lives and time for the country in the area of sports get their reward while still alive.

The former Super Falcons coach said he does not see any sense in eulogising a dead athlete or coach when all that could have been done was to reward patriotism while they are still alive.

“I am a victim of this shenanigan by handlers of sports in the federation. As I speak with you, am still being owed US$ 28,750 as well as N2 million since 2004 Women Cup of Nations in South Africa.

“I have grown tired talking about it and I just hope they won’t eulogise me when I am gone,” he asked.

NAN reports that Mabo was credited to have led 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. (NAN)