Former Nigerian goalkeeper and assistant coach of the Super Eagles, Joe Erico is dead.
He was an apostle of ‘Jogo Bonito’ – an aesthetic football philosophy that is based on the tip-tap playing pattern similar to that of Brazilian Samba.
Nicknamed ‘Jogobonito exponent’, Erico passed away on Tuesday morning in Lagos surrounded by his family, after a brief illness at the age of 72.
Erico was a goalkeeper for Electricity Connectors of Nigeria (ECN) and for Green Eagle of Nigeria in his playing days.
Confirming this development, a close family member Tomiwa Aghedo, said the country’s coaching icon had died after complaining of stomach ache.
“I feel sad informing you that coach Joe Erico passed on this morning [Tuesday].
“He complained of stomach ache yesterday and he was subsequently rushed to the hospital, where he was told to present his Covid-19 test result before he would be attended to.
“Coach Erico went for the test as directed and very early this morning he passed away. It’s terrible news at this point in time and every one of us is devastated.
“We are consoled by the fact that he served Nigeria with all his strength and he lived a good life worthy of emulation.”
Erico alongside late coach Shuaibu Amodu and late Stephen Keshi qualified the Super Eagles for the 2002 Korea/Japan World Cup, but they were dismissed before the Mundial.