The remains of “Mr.Football”,the longest serving Secretary General of the Nigerian Football Association (NFA), Etubom Oyo Orok were yesterday committed to mother earth in Calabar, the Cross River State capital.
Etubom Oyo who passed away in Calabar on September 10 2008 was buried after an elaborate funeral service at the U. J. Esuene Sports Stadium.
In his tribute Governor Liyel Imoke of Cross River State described the death as a colossal loss to the state, Nigeria and the entire football world, saying his tremendous achievements in his chosen field of endeavour have transformed sorrow and pain into a celebration of life.
He described the late Etubom Oyo as one who not only loved the game of football with undying passion, but was able to show how the activities of one man can positively affect the lives of millions of others.
The governor expressed confidence that the legacies of the late Oyo will continue to be cherished by posterity many years to come and stressed that world football has lost an icon who took football management to the heights.
A tribute from NFA signed by its Secretary General, Bolaji Ojo-Oba, stated that Etubom Oyo was the father of modern football who left indelible marks in the sands of time as Secretary General of the then NFA and as member of the Confederation of African Football.
According to Bolaji, Oyo’s pioneering efforts in the world of football administration paved the way for the stars of today.
Born on August 27, 1922 in Duke Town, Calabar into the Oyo Ita Royal Family to late teacher Willy Oyo Ita and Late Madam Efiom Oyo Ita, Eubom Oyo had his early education at Duke Town School and later Hope Waddell Training Institution, Calabar.
Between 1958 and 1974 Etubom Oyo was the Secreatry General of the NFA. In 1972 he became the first Nigerian to be elected into CAF executive, where he stayed till 1998 when he left.
In 1980 he became the first Nigerian to be appointed into the prestigigous executive committee of FIFA. He was with FIFA till 1988.