NFF, LMC Extol Ogunjobi’s Virtues

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Flying Eagles players in action durng a training session.

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) says the death of Taiwo Ogunjobi, a former Executive Committee member, is akin to the fall of a big tree.
NFF’s Director of Communications, Ademola Olajire, in a statement quoted NFF President Amaju Pinnick as saying “a big tree has fallen’’.
“I cannot find the words as much as I try. A very big tree has fallen in Nigerian Football and we are all devastated.
“If the NFF had a flag of its own, it would fly at half mast for several weeks.
“Ogunjobi was one of the strongest pillars of Association Football in Nigeria and the entire Nigerian football fraternity will miss him badly.
“The members of the NFF Executive Committee, management and staff of the NFF, members of the congress, eminent football stakeholders and other workers in football in these shores are in shock,” Pinnick, said.
The Tidesports source reports that the 66-year-old former international defender passed on earlier on Monday after a brief illness.
Ogunjobi, an ebullient and respected football administrator, captained the first set of Nigerian Academicals to defeat the Ghanaian Academicals in the early 1970s.
He was a key member of the then IICC Shooting Stars FC of Ibadan before he travelled to the U.S. for further studies.
The sojourn led to his missing out on being part of the squad which won the 1976 Africa Cup Winners Cup.
He returned to Nigeria a few years later, and was a member of the then young Green Eagles squad.
That was the team Adegboye Onigbinde coached to win the 1984 Africa Cup of Nations silver medal in Cote d’Ivoire.
He made his mark in football administration, winning plaudits and fame while managing the Shooting Stars Sports Club (3SC) of Ibadan and Julius Berger FC of Lagos at various times.
He later became the Secretary-General of the then Nigeria Football Association (NFA) in 2002 for three years.
Fondly nicknamed “Skippo’’, Ogunjobi in 2006 won election into the NFF Executive Committee led by Sani Lulu and was the Chairman of the federation’s Technical Committee.
Until his death, Ogunjobi was the Chairman of Osun State Football Association.
Meanwhile, the League Management Company (LMC) has also described Ogunjobi’s death as a huge loss to the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) and the larger football family in the country.
In a tribute, the LMC Chairman, Shehu Dikko, said he had difficulties coming to terms with the news of Ogunjobi’s passing.
He described the late ex-international as someone who played a big role in the country’s football as a player and an administrator.
“Ogunjobi is one of the heroes of league football in Nigeria, having captained the then IICC, a traditional club in our league system that stands today as an institution.
“He also later led the club as an administrator to the CAF Champions League finals before rising to the pinnacle of football administration in the country as secretary-general of the then NFA.”
The LMC chairman then announced that in honour of the fallen football hero, a minute’s silence would be observed before the kick-off at all NPFL Match Day 9 fixtures today.
He added that players and coaches were also to wear black armbands as a mark of respect for the dead.
“Ogunjobi during his life time was very passionate about football and while, as Osun State FA Chairman, his state did not have a club participating in the NPFL we always counted on him as one of the sound and effective Match
Commissioners.
“There were hardly any issues in matches he commissioned and we would miss those stabilising effect he brought to league match venues,” Dikko added.