In 1983,Festus  Okubule became the Second Nigerian Referee after Sanni Badru to handle a FIFA tournament when he was picked for the FIFA Youth Championship now FIFA under 20 World cup in Mexico.

Incidentally, that was also the first FIFA tournament attended by a Nigerian national team, when the Flying Eagles after beating Guinea over two legs and he was the centre referee in the Group B match between Poland and the United States in Pueblo as well as the game between Brazil and Holland at the Jalisco Stadium,Guadalajara.

At the tournament, two other African Referees, Bernard Grah of Cote D’Ivoire and Mohammed Larache of Morocco were sent home after the group games, while Okubule was among the twelve retained to proceed with the remaining matches.

Before chief Festus Bolaji Okubule Retired from being a Match Commissioner in 2016, He was a contemporary of professor Babatunde Esan, Dr Funso Okusanya and Mr Linus Mba.

Some Nigerians have been reacting to his Death, Speaking Ondo State based retired FIFA Badged  Referee, Mr Yomi Ifabumuyi said late Okubule otherwise called ‘Showboy’ was instrumental to how he secured a FIFA badge.

Also speaking, A follower of Nigeria’s League for five decades, Mr Adebayo Oyejola, described Okubule as a gentleman who was not corrupt throughout his involvement in officiating.

A former footballer, Sunday Igbinsola prayed for the departed soul even though he met him once.

Chief Festus Bolaji Okubule who celebrated his 80th birthday recently was said to have passed on in a Lagos State Hospital around 5;50pm Tuesday Evening.

     Ibiwunmi Ishola

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