BY: Gyang Dakwo
Nigeria Football Federation President, Ibrahim Gusau has paid tribute to Nigeria’s two-time women’s football Olympic head coach, Ismaila Mabo, who died recently in Jos.
Mabo, who managed Nigeria’s Women Football team at the Sydney 2000 and Athens 2004 Olympic Games, died at the age of 80.
“The death of Pa Ismaila Mabo came to me as a huge shock,” Gusau said, as reported by The Guardian newspaper.
“Again, we have lost a great man and an accomplished trainer-of-trainers in the Nigeria football fraternity, and my heart goes out to his immediate family and the other loved ones he has left behind.
“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.”
Central defender Mabo was best known for his coaching career, guiding Nigeria to the quarterfinals of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in the United States in 1999, where they were beaten by a golden goal by Brazil.
He led the country at Sydney 2000, where they exited at the group stage, and Athens 2004 where they lost to Germany in the quarterfinals.
Mabo was the first coach to win the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations in 1998 with a victory against Ghana after it succeeded the previous African Women’s Championship format.