Nigerian footballer Izu Joseph has been killed after being shot in his Bayelsa hometown.
Joseph, a central defender with Premier League club Shooting Stars (3SC), was hit by a stray bullet when gunmen attacked a market in his hometown of Okaki in Bayelsa State.
The club’s tweeted on its official account: “A Shooting STAR is gone! Izu Joseph is gone! Flamboyant defender is gone! RIP, brother. What a life! May God strengthen his family #Tragedy.”
Joseph joined the club three years ago.
He was a key player as the team secured a return to the top flight from the second division in 2014.
The Nigerian Football Federation tweeted: “Our thoughts are with the Mgt. & Staff of @Official3SC on the shocking loss of their player, Izu Joseph. May his soul Rest In Peace! #RIPIzu”.
Reuben Joseph, father of Izu Joseph, the Shooting Stars FC of Ibadan defender who was killed on Sunday, October 16, 2016 says the killing of his son was a deliberate act rather than the accident it has been painted as.
Izu was holidaying in his hometown of Okaki, Rivers state, when he was reportedly hit by a stray bullet from the Joint Task Force, JTF.
However, father of the deceased told The Cable that the JTF intentionally murdered him.
“It was not a stray bullet; they shot him face to face,” Pa Joseph told the online newspaper on phone in an emotion-laden voice.
“They shot him the first time, we thought it was a stray bullet. When they came closer to him, they shot him again.
“They did not come for anything but decided to kill my son for fun. He was even showing them his identity card that he was a football player.
“They shot at him again. They came to kill my son purposely but I don’t know why they had to do this to me.”
Joseph’s last-minute winning goal against Nasarawa United in Week 26 was one of the goals that helped 3SC escape relegation in the just concluded NPFL 2015/16 league.
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