A soccer player formerly on Nigeria’s national team was killed in a traffic accident and another was kidnapped by gunmen while driving on the same day, their clubs said on Monday.
Ifeanyi George, who played two games for Nigeria in 2017, was killed along with teammate Emmanuel Ogbu when their vehicle collided with a parked truck in southern Nigeria, on Sunday.
Their deaths were announced in a statement from their club, Rangers International.
George was 26. Ogbu was a member of the club’s youth team. A third man who was in the vehicle and who was not a soccer player was also killed.
The Nigerian Professional Football League was suspended last week because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and George and the other men were reportedly returning home to Lagos.
Also on Sunday, Nigeria striker Dayo Ojo of two-time African Champions League winners Enyimba International and a player from a different team were kidnapped by gunmen while traveling to Akure in southwestern Nigeria.
Enyimba said another of their players escaped.
Ojo played for Nigeria at the 2018 African Nations Championship, when the team made the final.
Kidnappings for ransom are relatively common in Nigeria, with soccer players and coaches, and their families, often targeted.
Former Nigeria captain John Obi Mikel and former national team coach Samson Siasia have both had relatives kidnapped.
Siasia’s mother was kidnapped and later released last year. Mikel’s father has been kidnapped twice, the last time while his son was playing for Nigeria at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
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