The Chairman of the Nigeria National League, Chidi Okenwa, is dead.
Mr Okenwa, who is also a member of the Executive Committee of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), died on Tuesday morning at the age of 50.
According to a statement issued by the NFF, the deceased who is also the Chairman of the Enugu State Football Association, had been diagnosed as having leukaemia.
He was said to have been restless throughout the night and slumped in the early hours before being rushed to a private hospital in Enugu, where he was confirmed dead.
A devastated President of the NFF, Amaju Pinnick, paid glowing tributes to Mr Okenwa, who was part of a meeting of the NFF Executive Committee held via video conferencing penultimate Friday. It was that same day that Mr Okenwa celebrated his 50th birthday.
“This is a huge shock. Each and every one of us on the NFF Board is in absolute grief. Chidi (Okenwa) was a loyal soldier of Nigeria Football and was a leading member of our intellectual wing. This is a terrible blow.
“He was one man you can always rely on to give candid advice. We bounced ideas off him regularly and picked his brain on many issues because of his wide knowledge and decades of experience in football administration. We will sorely miss him,” Mr Pinnick said.
The remains of the deceased has been deposited in a mortuary in Enugu and the NFF said it is in contact with his family on final burial rites.