Nigerian player dies after football administrator was paid to help secure foreign deal.

In a country blessed with millions of talented footballers with strong ambition to play for a professional club locally or abroad, there is always a tendency to fall into the wrong hands of dubious elements within the corridors of football, if they lack the knowledge and understanding of how to achieve their dreams.

This was the fate of late Ifeanyi Victor Okafor, Enugu – born Nigerian footballer, who had lofty dreams of playing football to the highest level, but died with a full weight of frustration a few months ago, after a Nigerian football club administrator, Sylla Osman, chairman of Oyah sports club of Suleja, Niger State, a professional league side in the Nigeria National League ( NNL), was alleged to have collected money to help the footballer to play abroad.

In an exclusive interview with Totorinews in Abuja, Alex Okafor, the elder brother, a mechanical engineer revealed with a deep sense of loss in his voice that his younger brother died without achieving his dreams of playing professional football abroad. 

He informed that he personally gave money to Osman, who promised to help facilitate the movement of his late brother to Europe. Unfortunately, Osman went comatose after he received the money and nothing was done to help his younger brother until he died in April this year.

 " My younger brother was frustrated till he died. I gave Osman N700k to help, but he wasted the money. My brother was with him for some years, believing that Osman would help him play football in Europe, until he (Victor) became very depressed. He never helped Victor till he died in a car crash and was buried in April this year.” Alex Okafor sadly narrated,"

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" My brother died without seeing Europe, where he hoped to play professional football. Osman stopped picking my calls. I went to his house several times, and I was told he was not around. He was outside the country. I sent a message to him when Victor died. He only expressed shock. That was all. 

" My brother was not the only footballer. I gave Osman money to help. I also gave him money to help another footballer. His name is Caleb, who is an orphan. A young boy, who is a very talented young footballer. I gave him N600K. 

" He then came one day that they needed money to make some payment at one European country’s embassy. I cannot remember the name again. I gave him $500 cash in my office to add to the money earlier given. He did not help Caleb till date and the international passport of the player is still with him,’ he said.

Knowing fully well that there is always the other side of the coin, Totorinews contacted Osman to get his reaction on the allegations against him and to hear his own side of the story.

He replied that he would speak on the matter after the Eid-Kabir festival of sacrifice, but he has ignored further attempts to make him react on the issue since then

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