The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has paid tribute to the late Samuel Okwaraji on the remembrance of his 34th year after he died playing for the country.
How The Nigeria Football Federation Paid Tribute to Sam Okwaraji
The Federation described the former footballer as effervescent. He was 25 years old at the time of his death.
In a post on the popular microblogging platform X formerly known as Twitter, the NFF wrote:
OTD, in 1989, we lost our effervescent midfielder Samuel Okwaraji who slumped and died on the pitch while serving his fatherland.
The unfortunate incident happened during a World Cup qualifier against Angola at the National Stadium, Surulere.
Continue to rest in peace Sam.
How Okwaraji Died Playing For The National Team
Okwaraji died on 12th August 1989 playing against Angola at the Surulere National Stadium and wore shirt number 6.
Six minutes before his death, the Togolese referee in charge of the match, Hounnake-Kouassi handed a yellow card in the 71st minute match.
The image below is the last known photograph of Okwaraji alive.
Okwaraji slumped after suffering a cardiac arrest in the 77th minute of the second round World Cup qualifier match against Angola.
According to reports, the ambulance failed to start and medics could not get him to the hospital in time which unfortunately led to his untimely death right on the football pitch before the eyes of 20,000 spectators.
Profile of Samuel Sochukwuma Okwaraji
He was a professional footballer who played internationally for Nigeria and was also a qualified lawyer who had a masters degree in international law from the Pontifical Lateran University of Rome.