• Domo Okara, coach of Bayelsa Queens, has passed away
  • The Bayelsa State Governor visited the family to offer condolences
  • Mr Okara led Bayelsa Queens to national and continental success
  • The Nigerian football community is mourning his loss
  • He is remembered as a pillar of women’s football coaching in Nigeria

From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagpa

Bayelsa State Governor Douye Diri has visited the family of the late coach of Bayelsa Queens, Domo Okara, to commiserate with them over his untimely death.

Bayelsa State, the Nembe community, and Bayelsa Queens Football Club were thrown into mourning over the weekend after Mr Okara slumped at home and was confirmed dead upon arrival at the hospital.

Speaking at the Yenizuegene residence of the Okaras, Governor Diri described the death of the Yenagoa-based female football coach as painful and a huge loss to Bayelsa State.

Governor Diri, represented by his deputy, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, recalled how the late tactician led Bayelsa Queens to national glory, winning the 2022/2023 league season, and also took the football club to the African Women’s Champions League, where he etched his name in gold in the annals of African female football.

Governor Diri assured the widow, Mrs Stella Okara, and the family of the necessary support from the Bayelsa State government during this trying period.

Chief Bariote Victor Rumson, who spoke on behalf of the family, expressed gratitude to Governor Diri and his deputy.

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Chief Rumson, who noted that the death of the award-winning coach was a big blow to the wife and the family, said the condolence visit from the government was a clear show of love and support.

Meanwhile, the management of Bayelsa Queens has condoled with the Okara family over the death of the coach.

The team’s management, in a condolence letter signed by its Chairman, Pastor Robin Agonimi Apreala, on behalf of the board, said Mr Okara’s passing was shocking, leaving a significant void in Nigeria’s women’s football community.

He described the incident as a “real tragedy” and urged the bereaved family to be strong, as no one could question God, stating that Mr Okara was one of the pillars of women’s football coaching in the country.

Bayelsa Queens also appreciated the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), the Chairperson and members of the Nigeria Women Football Club Owners Association, Rivers State Commissioner for Sports, Barrister Christopher Green, the Nigeria Women’s Premier League (NWFL), and other clubs for their show of solidarity during this trying time for Bayelsa Queens and the Okara family.

“We share in the sorrow and pain of the Okara family at this period, and we pray that God will grant the family the courage to bear the loss as we pray for the repose of the soul of our departed coach,” Pastor Apreala said.

“The late Domo Okara was not just a hero in Bayelsa State, he served Nigeria with aplomb and distinction and will surely be missed.”

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