Some former players of Ibadan league side, 3SC, and the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) on Tuesday lamented the killing of Izu Joseph.
Joseph, a defender with the Ibadan-based Oluyole Warriors, was reportedly shot on Sunday at Okaki, Rivers, by a member of the Joint Task Force ensuring security in the Niger Delta region.
Former international, Felix Owolabi, described the death of Joseph as a sad development in a civilized society.
“It is a sad development that the player was killed the way it was reported; now the club and the family have been denied his services as and when they need him the most.
“At a time like this when we are just celebrating the release of the Chibok girls, something tragic happened again and Joseph was killed in a hale of bullets.
“I just wish the family and the club, 3SC, the fortitude to be able to bear the irreparable loss,” Owolabi, popularly called Owoblow said.
Joseph, who recently sat on the bench when 3SC played against Abia Warriors at Umuhaia, was a reliable defender for the club.
In a tribute, Chief Taiwo Ogunjobi, an ex-3SC player as well as former Secretary General of the NFF, expressed regrets at the incident, saying Joseph still had a lot to offer.
“He was central to 3SC’s team play and he would be missed by the club. I just wish the family and the club the fortitude to bear the loss,” he said.
Also speaking, Ajibade Babalade, a former 3SC defender, described the death of the player as tragic.
“I could not believe the news until I saw it on Facebook. It is really very sad to hear that Izu is no more.
“He used to call me asking me how he could become a great player in future and I normally advised him to be hard working.
“I never knew he would not last like this. It is very sad that he left shortly when his family, 3SC and Nigeria needed him most,” Babalade said.
Meanwhile, the National President of SWAN, Honour Sirawoo, has described the death of the player as shocking.
“I want a full-scale investigation into the matter so that the culprits could be brought to book and it will serve as deterrent to others in future,” he said.
A condolence register had been opened for the deceased at the club house in Ibadan.