The death has been announced of former Super Eagles coach, Joe Erico, who died on Tuesday at the age of 72.
The coach popularly called ‘Jogo Bonito’ was said to have passed away on Thursday morning in Lagos surrounded by his family, after a brief illness.
Confirming this development to an online site, Goal.com, a close family member Tomiwa Aghedo said the country’s coaching icon gave up the ghost after complaining of stomach ache.
“I feel sad informing you that coach Joe Erico passed on this morning [Thursday],” Aghedo told Goal.
“He complained of stomach ache yesterday (Wednesday) and he was subsequently rushed to the hospital, where he was told to present his COVID-19 test result before he would be attended to.
“Coach Erico went for the test as directed and very early this morning (Tuesday) he passed away. It’s terrible news at this point in time and every one of us is devastated.
“We are consoled by the fact that he served Nigeria with all his strength and he lived a good life worthy of emulation.”
Erico was an apostle of ‘Jogo Bonito’, an aesthetic football philosophy that is based on the tip-tap playing pattern similar to that of the Brazilian Samba.
He got his team playing this way when he was in charge of now defunct Julius Berger FC (The Bridge Boys).
He was a goalkeeper for Electricity Connectors of Nigeria (ECN) and for Green Eagles of Nigeria in his playing days.
He was a member of the 1976 squad which returned from the Nations Cup in Ethiopia with a bronze medal.
Erico, alongside late coach Shuaibu Amodu and late Stephen Keshi, qualified the Super Eagles for the 2002 Korea/Japan World Cup, but they were dismissed before the Mundial after leading the country to a bronze medal finish at the 2002 Africa Cup of Nations in Mali.