NFF mourns Sebastian Brodricks-Imasuen

Edwin  - CEO January 3, 2024
Updated 2024/01/04 at 11:54 PM
3 Min Read
Sebastian Brodricks
Sebastian Brodricks

As Africa’s first FIFA World Cup-winning coach passes on


Sabastian Brodericks (far left) poses with his Gold winning side after the 1985 FIFA U-16 World Cup triumph in China


By Rasheed Adewuyi


The Nigeria Football Federation has expressed deep shock over the news on Wednesday morning of the death of the first man to lead an African team to win a FIFA World Cup, Coach Sebastian Brodricks-Imasuen, at a hospital in Benin City, Edo State.


The 85-year tactician, according to his family, was undergoing treatment for stroke and diabetes but gave up the ghost at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital in the early hours of Wednesday, 3rd January 2024.


“The demise of Coach Sebastian Brodricks-Imasuen sorely pains the NFF and the entire Nigeria Football fraternity. He worked very hard at his craft and was tireless in his efforts to bring honor to the homeland through the various National Teams he worked with. No one can ever forget how he led an unsung group of boys to China to win a first-ever FIFA World Cup for Nigeria and Africa,” NFF General Secretary Dr. Mohammed Sanusi said on Wednesday.


Brodricks-Imasuen was Head Coach of the Nigeria U-16 squad that won the inaugural FIFA Cadet World Cup in China in 1985, defeating West Germany 2-0 in the final at the Workers’ Stadium in Beijing. Two years later, in Canada, he led the team to runner-up position after a penalty shootout defeat to the former Soviet Union, and two years later, in Scotland, his team lost to eventual winners Saudi Arabia on penalties in the quarter-finals. Two years later, FIFA upgraded the competition to a U17 tournament.


The soft-spoken, easy-going tactician also assisted Dutchman Clemens Westerhof as Nigeria finished as runners-up at the 1990 Africa Cup of Nations finals in Algeria.


Nicknamed Sabara, Brodricks-Imasuen featured for Bendel Insurance in his playing days, famously scoring the winning goal when Insurance edged feisty Mighty Jets in a replayed 1972 Challenge Cup Final in Ibadan after both teams were deadlocked at 2-2 in the first match at the Onikan Stadium in Lagos, thanks to the heroics of late Sam Garba Okoye.


Apart from his successes at the international level, Sabara also coached El-Kanemi Warriors, Udoji United FC, and Bendel Insurance.



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