Following the passing of Nigerian international referee Awalu Barau, FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter sent a letter to the Nigeria Football Federation to express his sadness at the news.

Writing to NFF President Aminu Maigari, Blatter said: “On behalf of FIFA and the worldwide family of football, I wish to extend our condolences to you, to the Nigeria football community and, most importantly, to Mr Awalu Barau’s family, friends and loved ones.

“Please let them know that today the football community stands by their side. We would hope that in some way, our words of support may help bring a little bit of peace and solace in this time of sadness to you all.”