Thursday, September 23, 2010

Dead ref is third death in family in one year

The untimely death of referee Olatunde Oyetola of the Nigeria National League (NNL) also known as the National Division I League highlights the tragedy that has befallen the Oyetolas in Ibadan in the last one year. understands that Olatunde is the third son of the family to have died within a year.
The home of the Oyetolas in Bashorun area of Ibadan was thrown into mourning on Wednesday when the referee slumped and died during a Cooper’s test in Abuja alongside another referee, Matthew Faloye from Ogun State.
A family spokesperson, who addressed a handful of journalists in Ibadan on Thursday, disclosed that the deceased left behind an aged mother, who was seen weeping uncontrollably.
The story is even pathetic, as the aged mother of the late NNL arbiter’s three out of four children are late including the grade one referee.
“The pathetic side of the story is that his mother has four children and she has lost three out of them now. Just last year, two of his brother died and now him. This is so bad for the family just within a year,” the family member said.
Oyetola was said to have failed the first fitness test conducted on August 4 but attempted again on the directive of the Nigeria Referee Association (NRA).
The grade one referee with his counterpart from Ogun State – Faloye – completed the 10-lap race, according to NRA’s technical report, but collapsed and died minutes after the exercise.
Oyetola along with his colleague from Ogun Referee Council, Faloye Mathew according to report from NRA technical officials completed the 10 lap’s race, but collapsed and died minutes after the exercise.
NRA Public Relations Officer, Sarah Jumoke Adebisi, reacting in tears described the loss of the refs as tragic to the game in the country, adding that the association has sent a delegation to pay visits to the families of the late arbiters.
The remains of the refs are expected to arrive from Abuja on Friday, as the NRA spokesman promised that the body will be fully involved in the burial of the arbiters..
“We have sent a delegation to go and sympathize with the families of our vibrant members who lost their lives while participating in the mandatory fitness test in Abuja on Wednesday. We are expecting their corpses tomorrow morning (Friday) from Abuja, as the NRA will play a major role in giving these our departed heroes befitting burials,” the retired FIFA referee said.
However, all members of NRA from the south-west of the country have stayed from the ongoing seminar organised by Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) for referees and club owners in Abuja as a mark of respect to the late referees.

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