Nigeria's Adefemi dies in Greece

Nigeria's Adefemi dies in Greece

Published Apr. 18, 2011 4:32 p.m. ET

Nigerian international Olubayo Adefemi was killed in a car accident Monday while on leave to get married, Greek police said.

The 25-year-old defender, who played for Greek club Xanthi, died after skidding off a highway near the northern town of Kavala. No one else was hurt.

Adefemi's agent, Miguel Riera, said the accident happened at about 10 a.m. (0700 GMT) when the player was driving from Xanthi to an airport in Thessaloniki. He was due to fly home to Nigeria to finalize plans for his wedding, Riera told the Nigeria Football Federation by phone, after he had been granted a one-week break by Xanthi.

''This is very sad. I am very sad to confirm to you that Olubayo is dead,'' Riera said, according to an NFF statement. ''There is no doubt about it. I am presently at the hospital and I have identified the body.''


Adefemi was included in Nigeria's senior squad for the recent friendly against Kenya and the African Cup of Nations qualifying victory over Ethiopia.

He missed World Cup selection last year, but featured in the World Youth Championship in the Netherlands in 2005, when Nigeria lost in the final to an Argentina side that included Lionel Messi.

Adefemi died hours before Nigeria's current under-20 team beat defending champion Ghana 2-1 at the 2011 African Youth Championship in South Africa.

''We are in grief, total grief,'' said NFF acting General Secretary Musa Amadu. ''This has come on a day that we should be celebrating the Flying Eagles' defeat of the world champions at the African Youth Championship.''

NFF President Alhaji Aminu Maigari, in South Africa for the Youth Championship, said news of Adefemi's death was ''devastating.''

Adefemi moved to Greece last year after leaving French club Boulogne. He had also played at clubs in Romania, Austria and Israel.