Players and match officials of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) are to turn out with black arm bands to honour a former coach of prominent NPFL clubs, Kelechi Emeteole who passed on in the early hours of Wednesday.
Emeteole nicknamed ‘Caterpillar’ in his playing days for various league clubs in the country died in India where he underwent surgery for throat cancer.
Shehu Dikko, the Chairman of the League Management Company (LMC) expressed grief at the demise of the Coach who in addition to managing several league clubs also worked with national teams including the Super Eagles, the Flying Eagles, the Golden Eaglets and the Beach Soccer team, otherwise called the Super Sand Eagles.
“The passing on of Coach Emeteole is a great loss to the NPFL because he was a coach that has been very prominent in the league coaching teams and raising some of the players who have made this country proud.
He was a true Nigerian who played football and worked with clubs across the states, speaking all three Nigerian major languages”, remarked Dikko.
After retiring from active football with the then Spartans of Owerri, Emeteole took to coaching and remarkably helped El-Kanemi Warriors return to the NPFL rising all the way from the then Division 3 through to the Division two and to the defunct Nigeria Football League.
A prominent protégé of his time at the Borno side is Enyimba International FC’s Ikechukwu Ibenegbu who had gone on to represent Nigeria at the senior level and the Beach Soccer championships.
The late Emeteole also had repeat stints at Heartland FC of Owerri and Rangers International.
The LMC has therefore directed that a minute silence be observed across all NPFL venues on Saturday, June 24 and on Wednesday, June 28 for the Match Day 26 fixtures.
According to Dikko, “Emeteole deserves all the honour we can accord him at this time. We commiserate with his family and pray that God will grant them the fortitude to pass through this trying time in their family”.