The Night Football Wept


The game of football is fun, passion and life to many.

It brings happiness to the victors; sadness to the losers but most importantly, everyone talks about the experience.

Many have sworn to never see a game of football again due to biases they find unacceptable. These ones still tune in to watch the round leather being kicked about by eleven grown men and women, in shorts, on the pitch.

Over the years, football has grown into an economy of its own, providing jobs and means of livelihood to millions across the globe.

Many argue that it can only bring happiness, despite the tears.

However true this is, the game can know sorrow too, especially when the unexpected and unfathomable happens: such as the death or permanent damage to the career of a player.

Nigeria has had its own share of football death when Samuel Okwaraji slumped in a game against Algeria at the then National Stadium, Surulere.

Okwaraji was later confirmed dead at the hospital.

The most tragic incident is unarguably the death of a then 24-year-old Hungarian international, Miklos Feher who died on the spot where he fell on a football night in January 2004.

Feher, aged 24 then, had just assisted in Benfica’s first and only goal in that Portuguese league game against Guimaraes before the fatal accident.

He came in as a substitute and made quick impact but that was to end in the injury time, after a yellow card which the player warmly acknowledged with a smile.

After the smiling comes the downing: Feher bent forward, then fell on his back. A fall he never rose from.

The death was broadcast live to thousands to millions of viewers who watched the game live.

Doctors and teammates rushed to his aid, made all frantic efforts to save the dying youngman but he was not to be revived.

The whole stadium broke out in mourning and weeping. Both losers and winners on that night could not be told as all wailed and hardly spoke about the victory.

Before his death, Feher featured for 149 times for six Portuguese clubs, scoring 52 goals; 52 appearances for Hungary and three goals at junior and senior levels.


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Macaulay Maduwuba is the Chief Content at Kanu Sports TV

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