Ex-international, Thompson Oliha, is dead. He died at Yusjib Industrial Medicare in Ilorin on Sunday at the age of 44.
The former Iwuanyanwu Nationale midfielder was born on October 4, 1968 in Benin, Edo State. He was a member of the Super Eagles that won the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations in Tunisia, and was also in the team at the 1994 World Cup in the USA.
He was reportedly vomiting on Saturday after he led the Kwara State Football Academy team to a victory over visiting Ben Machezie Football Foundation of Mali.
His ill-health was said to have deteriorated on Sunday morning as he was said to have slumped in a toilet at his Offa Garage residence in Ilorin, Kwara State.
He was taken to Yusjib Industrial Medicare by his family members and neighbours where he later died.
The Chief Medical Director of the hospital, Dr. Abdulrahmeen Yusuf, confirmed that Oliha died after a brief illness. His remains have been deposited at the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital mortuary.
The deceased is the third member of the 1994 Super Eagles squad that have died. Uche Okafor, his teammate, died in the United States while another member of the team, Rashidi Yekini, died over a year ago.
Efforts by our correspondent to speak with Oliha’s wife, Irish, proved abortive as she was said to be grief-stricken that she could not speak with journalists.
The proprietor of Abubukar Bukola Football Club, Senator Bukola Saraki, said Oliha’s death was a sad development for the growth of sport in Nigeria.
He said Oliha gave his best to Nigeria and his clubs to the admiration of his colleagues.
According to him, the late footballer would be remembered by Kwara residents and Nigerians for his exploit as a coach at the Kwara State Football Academy in Ilorin.
Oliha featured for Bendel Insurance from 1985 to 1987, Iwuanyanwu Nationale from 1988 from 1991, Africa Sports of Abidjan from 1992 to 1993, Maccabi Ironi Ashdod in Israel from 1993 to 1994 and later Antalyaspor of Turkey in 1995.
He made 31 appearances for the national team, scoring two goals.
He made his last international appearance at the 1994 World Cup as a late substitute against Italy.
He retired from active football at the age of 27 as a result of a knee injury.