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Justice Christopher: Former Nigeria midfielder dies aged 40

11:40 PM SGT 9/3/22
Justice Christopher
The former Super Eagle will be remembered for featuring at the 2002 Fifa World Cup co-hosted by South Korea and Japan

Former Royal Antwerp, Levski Sofia and Nigeria midfielder Justice Christopher has died, aged 40.

Nigeria Football Federation confirmed Christopher, who was part of the Super Eagles squad at the 2002 Fifa World Cup, passed away on Wednesday morning.

"We are devastated to hear of the sudden passing away of former Super Eagles midfielder Justice Christopher early on Wednesday morning," confirmed a tweet from NFF.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and football community in Nigeria. May his soul rest in peace."

Meanwhile, former Nigeria captain Mutiu Adepoju - who currently is one of La Liga's ambassadors - went on social media to mourn the player. 

"May your departed soul rest in peace and may God give your family strength to handle this painful loss. Rest on Justice!"

Nigeria assistant coach Joseph Yobo also paid tribute to his "close friend".

"My family and I are deeply saddened by the awful news that my close friend Christopher has passed away. Thoughts and prayers go out to his family," he was quoted by BBC Sport Africa.

"A very gentleman that we shared some wonderful memories with throughout our international career. He will be missed by so many people and I honestly can't get over the shock."

Born in Jos, Justice began his professional career at Katsina United before heading to Sharks and Bendel Insurance.

His impressive performances at the Nigeria Professional Football League outfit was noticed by Belgian side Royal Antwerp who signed him.

Two years later, he joined Levski Sofia for an undisclosed fee before going ahead to represent Trelleborg, Alania Vladikavkaz and Herfolge Boldklub. At the end of the 2006-07 season, he announced his retirement from the beautiful game.

In 2012, the midfielder announced his comeback and signed for NPFL side Nasarawa United.

On the international scene, Justice was captain of the Nigeria U20 team but was drafted into the senior national team squad where he played in the 2002 Africa Cup of Nations hosted by Mali.

He was also named in coach Adegboye Onigbinde’s squad for the 2002 World Cup.

At the global football showpiece, he featured in all games against Argentina, Sweden and England. Overall, he had featured in 11 international matches.