Former Golden Eaglets’ coach Baleria dies

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By Tunde Liadi and Taofeek Babalola

 

Former Golden Eaglets assistant  coach, Kabiru Baleria  yesterday  died in Kano at 57.

Baleria who until his death was a staff of Kano Pillars where he served as the Team Manager, was one time interim coach of the  Sai Masu Gida but was reportedly sick for months  after he  assisted coach Emmanuel Amuneke to win Nigeria’s fifth FIFA U-17 World Cup title in Chile in 2015.

Though details of the terminal ailment that led to  his death was not disclosed, a close confidant informed  that he made spirited efforts to secure help  and was recently flown to India for the treatment of his ailment..

He was said  to be recovering gradually before he suffered a relapse which later claimed his life yesterday at the Doctor’s Clinic in Bompai Quarters in Kano Municipality.

A former youth international who was in the Super Eagles’ 1990 ECOWAS Cup winning team. He was an outstanding striker in his heyday playing for Golden Stars of Kano ; El-Kanemi FC; Al-Arabi FC of Saudi Arabia; Julius Berger; Kano Pillars and Canon Yaoundé of Cameroon.

He was in the 1991 FA Cup –winning  team led by coach Garba Manu  and eventually retired to coaching long after he retired from playing football.

Baleria was part of Kano Pillars technical crew that won the league title between 2012 and 2014 and was the club Team Manager when they emerged victorious in the 2019 AITEO Cup on penalties against Niger Tornadoes in Kaduna.

Late Baleria, was survived by his wife, six children and relatives.

Thousands of Muslim ummah attended the funeral rite prayer of former El Kanemi Warriors player which was led by the Chief Imam of Murtala mosque in Kano metropolitan, Shiek Kabiru Badamasi Dan’taura, at Durumin Zungura Quarters, the family house of late coach.

Among those that attended the funeral prayer are former Kano State Head of service, Alhaji Auwalu Na’iya, former NFA chairman, Alhaji Ibrahim Galadima, chairman Kano Pillars FC Alhaji Surajo Shaaibu Jambul, former Pillars FC chairmen, players, and other football stakeholders from various parts of the country.

Shortly after the prayer, the chairman Kano Pillars FC Alhaji Surajo Shaaibu Jambul led the management, players  and Technical Crew of the club to the house of the late Baleria to condole with his family.

The chairman declared three days mourning in honour of the deceased, describing late Baleria as honest, humble and dedicated person who sacrifice his life in promoting peace and unity in the interest of football development in Kano and Nigeria as a whole.