FIFA remembers late Yekini, says USA 94 celebration will live on in World Cup folklore

Abuja – World football governing body FIFA and the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on Tuesday took to Twitter to pay post-humous respect to late former Super Eagles striker Rashidi Yekini.

Late Yekini

Yekini, who would have clocked 55 on Tuesday, was until his death Nigeria’s senior national football team highest goal scorer with 37 goals — a record yet unmatched.

Yekini scored Nigeria’s first-ever FIFA World Cup goal at the 1994 tournament in the U.S. and followed it up with a remarkable celebration.

And, FIFA, in a tweet via its official Twitter World Cup handle (@FIFAWorldCup), acknowledged that historic celebration, saying it would live on in World Cup folklore.

“Rashidi Yekini, scorer of @NGSuperEagles’ first goal at the #WorldCup, would have been 55 today. The celebration from Nigeria’s record goal-scorer will live on in World Cup folklore,” FIFA tweeted.

On its part, the NFF referred to the late Yekini as “Yeking of goals”, stating that power, pace and precision were the hallmarks of the late striker’s game.

“Posthumous birthday shout-out to our legend, ‘Yeking of goals’, late Rashidi Yekini. Power, pace and precision best describe Yekini on the pitch.

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“The big man would have been 55 today. He remains the all-time top scorer of the @NGSuperEagles with 37 goals. Rest on legend!” the NFF tweeted, with two wine bottle emojis via @thenff.

The late Yekini was born in Kaduna on Oct. 23, 1963 and died in Ibadan, Oyo State on May 4, 2012.

A former African Footballer of the Year, Yekini’s professional career spanned over two decades.

He was the highest goal scorer at the 1994 African Cup of Nations in Tunisia, which Nigeria won.

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The striker who played for clubs such as the then IICC Shooting Stars and defunct Abiola Babes FC went on to represent Nigeria at the 1994 and 1998 FIFA World Cups. (NAN)