The Oyo State chapter of the Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) has called for an immortalization of a former midfield maestro for Super Eagles and IICC Shooting Stars, Mudasiru Lawal who died 30 years ago.
In a press release issued by Oyo SWAN Chairman, Niyi Alebiosu; and the Association’s Secretary, Adewale Tijani; to mark the 30th anniversary of the death of the football legend, the body of sports journalists in the Pacesetter State enjoined the Federal Ministry of Youths and Sports Development and the Nigeria Football Federation to name a competition or an award category after the departed footballer.
Recalling the exploits of the Ogun state born soccer star, Oyo SWAN reminded Nigerians that late Muda Lawal had assisted Nigeria’s football teams to blaze the trail, several times.
“Late Muda Lawal was among the IICC Shooting Stars team that won the country’s first ever continental title, the then African Winners Cup in 1976 after beating Tonnere Kalala of Cameroon in the final. The same late Muda Lawal was also an active member of the glorious Green Eagles set of 1980 which won Nigeria’s first African Cup of Nations (AFCON) title”, the Association recalled.
Oyo SWAN then adds “in accordance with a verse of Nigeria’s national anthem which says ‘the labour of our past heroes should not be in vain’, we are calling the Sports Ministry and football governing body in Nigeria to ensure that the feats performed by the late footballer and other sporting heroes are not thrown into the dustbin of history. We are in support of the idea that a Hall of Fame should be instituted for them to allow succeeding generations know about their accomplishments”.
Born in Abeokuta, Late Muda Lawal played for IICC Shooting Stars (now 3SC), Abiola Babes as well as the nation’s senior team Super Eagles.
Aside setting the pace with Shooting Stars and Super Eagles, the midfield maestro also blazed the trail individually. He was the first footballer to feature in five consecutive editions of African Cup of Nations (1976, 1978, 1980, 1982 & 1984).
He died on Saturday, 6July, 1991 in Ibadan and was buried in his hometown of Abeokuta. The stadium in Asero was named after him by the Ogun State government.
Oyo SWAN however called on the Ogun State Government to renovate Muda Lawal Stadium which, it noted, has become an eyesore.
“Leaving the stadium in decrepit state is a dishonour to an illustrious son of the state who used his talent to make the entire South West and Nigeria proud”, the Association said.