U-17 World Cup Winner Babangida Laid to Rest

Ibrahim Babangida, a member of the 1993 U-17 World Cup-winning Golden Eaglets squad, was buried on Friday after a fatal car accident on Thursday along the Kano-Zaria Road. His older sibling, Tijani Babangida, and other family members survived and are receiving treatment. The football community mourns the loss of a talented player and offers condolences to the Babangida family.

Retired footballer Ibrahim Babangida, a member of the 1993 U-17 World Cup-winning Golden Eaglets squad, was buried on Friday according to Muslim rites after a ghastly accident along the Kano-Zaria Road on Thursday. Babangida died while traveling with his older sibling, Atlanta 1996 Olympics gold medalist Tijani Babangida, his wife, his one-and-a-half-year-old son, and a maid, who survived and are currently receiving treatment at Shika Hospital in Zaria.

A chieftain of the Professional Footballers Association of Nigeria, Harrison Jalla, said officials of the players’ body were in Kaduna to pay their last respects to Babangida. “We are in deep mourning over the sudden death of Ibrahim. The Kaduna State chapter of PFAN was on the ground and took full charge of the burial arrangements in line with Islamic injunctions.”

The General Secretary of PFAN, Emmanuel Babayaro, has been deployed to assess the current health situation of other members of the family who were in the same car when the accident occurred on Thursday. PFAN would soon come out with an official statement. “We thank the sports minister, all football stakeholders, and Nigerians in general for their concern, show of love, and solidarity for the Babangida family, a very unique football family of three brothers, all ex-internationals, Tijani, Ibrahim, and Haruna Babangida,” Jalla said.

On Thursday, Babayaro broke the news in a statement, which read, “Comrades! Let us be in prayer for our president, Tijani Babangida, who just had a ghastly motor accident along the Kaduna-Zaria Road.” “Ibrahim Babangida, his younger brother, died on the spot from the accident while Mr. President (Babangida) and his family were taken to the hospital. “May the soul of Ibrahim Babangida rest in peace with God.”

The late Ibrahim, 47, was a member of the 1993 U-17 World Cup-winning Golden Eagles squad in Japan. He featured for local sides Bank of the North, Stationery Stores, and Katsina United on the domestic scene before joining Dutch side Volendam in 1997.

Meanwhile, former Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar, commiserated with the Babangida family over the irreparable loss. The statement on his X handle read, “My thought and prayers are with Tijani Babangida, the former Super Eagles player, his son, and maid who were involved in a ghastly car crash along Kaduna-Zaria highway road,” he wrote on his X handle on Friday.

“Unfortunately, the crash claimed the life of his brother, Ibrahim. I pray that God grant Tijani and the others victims of the accident healing. May Allah forgive the sins of the deceased and grant him Aljannah Firdaus.”

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