Buhari Rejoices with Ex-Eagles Goalkeeper, Emmanuel Okala, at 71

Deji Elumoye 

President Muhammadu Buhari has sent warm greetings to former goalkeeper of the Green Eagles, Emmanuel Okala, as he marks his 71st birthday yesterday.

The President, in a release issued Monday by his Media Adviser, Femi Adesina, rejoiced with the ex international who earned global recognition and awards for his prowess in between the post for Nigeria and club side Rangers International of Enugu.

President Buhari joined his family, teammates, teeming fans and professional colleagues in celebrating the auspicious occasion, which brings back memories of his patriotism on and off the pitch in the 1970’s and 1980’s, being one of the heroes of the winning squad of  1980 Africa Cup of Nations, and member of 1977 Africa Cup-Winners’ Cup Rangers International FC team.

The President affirmed that Okala made history as the first goalkeeper in the history of African football to be crowned Africa’s Player of the Year by the African Sports Journalists Union (ASJU) in 1975, and was part of the team that won All-Africa Games football gold in Lagos in 1973, also taking bronze medals at the Africa Cup of Nations in 1978.

President Buhari extolled Okala’s contributions to the development of sports in the country, remaining a light and inspiration to many young Nigerians.

The President prayed for the wellbeing of Okala and his family.

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