Nigeria football has been thrown into mourning after the death of Super Eagles and Enugu Rangers player Ifeanyi George and teammate Emmanuel Ogbu –
Both players were tragically killed in a car crash in Abudu that also claimed the life of a third person who is believed to be a friend of Ifeanyi George.
Super Eagles forward George, who won two caps for his country in 2017, was 26.
Ogbu was a member of the club’s youth team.
The car had another passenger – Eteka Gabriel, a friend of George’s – who also died.
The players were returning to Lagos from Enugu following a break in the Nigerian league due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“The management of Rangers International FC shall, in conjunction with the families of Ifeanyi George and Emmanuel Ogbu, pay befitting last respect to both players,” a club statement read.
“We mourn their sudden demise. It’s indeed shocking that we are talking of Ifeanyi and Emmanuel in the past tense.”
The Nigeria Football Federation also paid tribute to the players with a tweet of its own which read:
‘We are shocked to hear of the sad passing of striker Ifeanyi George and Emmanuel Ogbu players of Rangers International. Both players were involved in a fatal auto crash earlier on Sunday. Our prayers and thoughts are with their families and Rangers’ Mgt. May their souls Rest In Peace.’ The NFF said.
‘We sympathize with the families of the players and the club [Rangers] at this trying time and pray for the repose of their souls.’ Dikko said.
Ifeanyi George was a key part of the Rangers team as he played all six of its matches in the CAF Confederations Cup scoring two goals especially in its 10 away win to Pyramids FC.
George was also a real cult hero for Rangers after playing an instrumental part in the clubs’ 2018 Federation Cup victory against Kano Pillars where he scored one of the goals as the Flying Antelopes came from three goals down to win on penalties.
Ifeanyi George was a winner of the NPFL in 2015 with Enyimba FC and the club also paid an emotional tribute to the player moments after the announcement of his demise.
‘Everyone at Enyimba Football Club is devastated after learning that our former player Ifeanyi George has died in a gruesome auto crash.
Words cannot in any way describe the depth of pain that we feel at the shocking news of his passing, and in utmost grief, we convey our deepest condolences and most sincere sympathies to the family he has left behind. We also pray for God to strengthen his friends and fans that have been pained by his untimely passing.
George joined Enyimba in 2015 and spent two seasons at the club, winning the Nigeria Professional Football League in his first season.
With his courage and versatility, George created fondness during his time at the club and will forever remain in our hearts.’ said the club statement.
Ifeanyi George’s death is another dark cloud to have appeared in Nigeria Football following the deaths of Tiamiyu Kazeem of Remo Stars and Chineme Martins of Nasarawa United in less than a month.