Shooting Stars defender shot dead in Bayelsa

Late Izu Joseph

Late Izu Joseph

Shooting Stars defender, Izu Joseph was reportedly shot dead in his hometown of Okaki in oil-rich southern Bayelsa state.

According to the player’s father, Joseph was hit by a stray bullet which was fired by troops battling Niger delta militants on Sunday.

Initial reports had it that Joseph was killed at a restricted area by soldiers on a raid, with his identity as a footballer only established after he had been shot.

The powerful central defender joined Shooting Stars from Bayelsa United when the Ibadan club was still in the second-tier Nigeria National League.

He was the man of the match at champions Rangers when Shooting Stars drew 1-1 this past season.

The Sports Writers Association (SWAN) commented: “It is indeed a great loss not only to 3SC but also to the football fraternity in Nigeria.”

It urged the government to beef up security across the country to prevent a “recurrence of the avoidable incident that claimed the life of our valuable footballer, Izu Joseph.”

Shooting Stars of Ibadan also tweeted about his untimely demise:

A Shooting STAR is gone! Izu Joseph is gone! Flamboyant defender is gone! RIP, brother. What a life! May God strengthen his family #Tragedy

— Shooting Stars SC (@Official3SC) October 17, 2016

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