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‘Forever In Our Hearts’, Nigeria Football Federation Pays Tribute To Late Samuel Okwaraji | Latest Sports and Football News in Nigeria

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The Nigeria football federation has paid tribute to late professional footballer, Samuel Okwaraji who slumped and died in a World Cup qualification game at the Lagos National stadium in 1989.

The Imo state former Nigeria midfielder died at the age of 25 having suffered of congestive heart failure.

NFF wrote on thier official verified twitter handle;

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‘It’s 12th August again, and we remember the patriotic Samuel Sochukwuma Okwaraji who died on this day in 1989. Forever in our hearts ♥️ #WeRememberOkwaraji https://t.co/gPivL3aKYD

Background Check On Samuel Okwaraji

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Samuel Sochukwuma Okwaraji was a professional Nigerian .er born on the 19th May 1964 and died on the 12th August 1989.

He was also a qualified lawyer who had a masters degree in international law from the Pontifical Lateran University of Rome.

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Samuel Okwaraji collapsed and died of congestive heart failure in the 77th minute of a World Cup qualification match against Angola at the Lagos National Stadium in Surulere, Lagos State on 12 August 1989.

Okwaraji had a career in Europe which included .ing for AS Roma (1984–1985), NK Dinamo Zagreb (1985–1986), Austria Klagenfurt (1986–1987), VfB Stuttgart (1987–1989) and SSV Ulm 1846 (loan) (1987–1988) while finishing his education in law.

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In his short stay with Dinamo Zagreb, Samuel scored 3 goals in a friendly game vs NK Budućnost Hodošan. The game was .ed on 30 April 1986, and Dinamo Zagreb won 12–0.

Samuel’s only official game for Dinamo in the Yugoslav First League was as a substitute on 18 May 1986 against FK Priština. The game was .ed at Maksimir stadium in Zagreb, the 29th round of 1985/86 season. Dinamo Zagreb won 4:3.

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He was .ing with Belgian side K. Berchem Sport at the time of his death.

Okwaraji collapsed ten minutes from the end of a 1990 World Cup qualifier against Angola in Lagos. He died from possible complications of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy as an autopsy showed that the 25-year-old had an enlarged heart and high blood pressure.

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International Career

He made the Green Eagles squad in 1988 and at that year’s African Nations Cup w. he scored one of the fastest goals in the history of the championship against the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon.

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He .ed along until the final match, w. the Eagles lost to their perennial rivals Cameroon by a lone goal.

Okwaraji also made 4 appearances for the Nigerian Olympic team in 1988, one during the qualifiers, and 3 at the Olympics themselves in Nigeria’s 3 games in the group D.

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Honours

1988 African Cup of Nations winner (AFCON)

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Legacy

19 May 2019, on what would have been his 55th birthday, he was honoured with a Google Doodle.

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_(Culled from Wikipedia)_

Today marks 33 years since his demise, may his soul continue to rest in peace.

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