By Babajide Okeowo
Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, on Thursday described the death of former Green Eagles goalkeeper Joseph Erico as a monumental loss to Nigeria.
Dare, in a statement by his Special Adviser (Media), John Joshua-Akanji, said: “Erico’s death is so unfortunate and sad. This is one death too many for us.
“It is a great loss to the entire family and the sports fraternity. He was a great goalkeeper who stood out among his peers,
“He also made his mark as Assistant Super Eagles coach. My deepest condolences to the family, friends and the football family.
May God bless his soul and comfort his family.”
Erico made his mark as a player with ECN FC which metamorphosed into NEPA Football Club, and he was a member of the Green Eagles’ 1976 African Nations Cup bronze medal-winning team in Ethiopia.
He later coached Julius Berger Football Club of Lagos as well as NEPA FC.
He was Assistant to the late Shuaibu Amodu at the Mali 2002 Nations Cup, and alongside the late Amodu and late Stephen Keshi helped the Super Eagles to qualify for the 2002 World Cup.
The ex-international was regarded as the “Jogo Bonito” exponent because of his teams’ flair for the tip-tap brand of football reminiscent of the Brazilian Samba style.
He was aged 72.