Festus Okubule cause of death: How Nigeria’s first FIFA referee died


, How Nigeria’s first FIFA referee “Show Boy” died at the age of 80


, a well-known ex-referee in Nigeria, has died. At the age of 80, Okubue died in a Lagos hospital after a brief illness.

For more than four decades, Festus Okubule a.k.a. Show Boy has been a reference in the history of Nigerian football.

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He officiated a number of domestic matches as well as international matches throughout Africa.

Festus Okubule cause of death

The former referee died at around 5:50 p.m. on Tuesday. His daughter, Sola Taiwo, confirmed the news of his death to our correspondent but didn’t state the cause of his father’s death.

“He celebrated his 80th birthday on March 14 and he was not sick. It was two weeks after his birthday that he felt a bit ill.   He has been at the hospital since then but died today (Tuesday).”

Festus Okubule Biography ( Summary)

Festus Okubule was born on March 14, 1942, and is regarded as one of Africa’s best referees.

In 1973, he became an international referee, and the following year, he received his FIFA referee badge. Following that, he officiated in a number of high-profile continental matches, including the Africa Cup of Nations and World Cup qualifiers, and was at one point Africa’s number three official.

When Festus Okubule was selected for the FIFA Youth Championship (now FIFA U-20 World Cup) in Mexico in 1983, he became the first Nigerian referee to officiate at a FIFA tournament.

That was also the first FIFA tournament in which a Nigerian team competed. He officiated the Group B match between Poland and the United States in Pueblo, as well as the match between Brazil and Holland at Guadalajara’s Jalisco Stadium.

Okubule also worked at Guinness Nigeria, where he retired as an administrative officer, in addition to refereeing.

In 2016, he stepped down as a match commissioner.


In his final interview with Newsmen on his 79th birthday, the former President of the Nigeria Referees Association (NRA) recounted some of his most memorable moments.

“I became a referee for a variety of reasons.  One of which was to project the image of this great country and my family, which I have succeeded in doing,” the former CAF and FIFA instructor said.

Festus Okubule said, “Whenever I see the Nigerian flag, I feel so proud; in fact, if I don’t see the Nigerian flag, I won’t start the game.”

Festus Okubule cause of death

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