Ex-GFA boss Alhaji Jawula laid to rest

Tonnes of tributes are pouring in from across the footballing world for Lepow­ura Alhaji Nuru-Deen Jawula, former President of the Ghana Football Association (GFA).

The 74-year-old former football administrator died on Saturday in the Nashville, United States of America – after a bout of illness – and was laid to rest yesterday in line with Islamic traditions.

Burial prayers were said in his memory last night in the family house at Accra Newtown, done simultane­ously with the committal ceremony in Nashville.

A report on myjoyonline said he was earlier admitted to the Universi­ty of Ghana Medical Centre before being flown out of the country last week.

• Lepowura Alhaji Jawula
• Lepowura Alhaji Jawula

Moments after news of his death broke on Saturday evening, social media thundered with emotions as hundreds of people – including footballers, sport administrators, sport journalists, politicians and businessmen across the coun­try – and beyond, scrambled for space to send their messages of condolence to the bereaved family and paying homage to the iconic football figure.

The Ghana Football Associ­ation (GFA), Ministry of Youth and Sports, National Sports Au­thority (NSA) and many football associations across the continent, expressed their pain at the loss, lauding the Lepowura for his unalloyed service to football.

The charismatic Lepowura Jawula is regarded as one of the finest football administrators, having chaired the Black Starlets team that won gold at the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in Ecuador ‘95.

His reign as GFA boss saw the rise of cadet football in Gha­na – leading to the Starlets also finishing second and third at the Egypt ‘97 and New Zealand ‘99 World Cup tournaments respectively.

It was during his leadership, too, that Ghana’s Under-20 side (Black Satellites), placed second at the FIFA Under-20 World Youth tournament – a trophy

Ghana would win eight years later to become the first and only Afri­can country to do so.

He has held numerous high-pro­file positions in the corridors of football. However, until his stunning demise, Lepowura Jawula was the chairman of the Ghana Premier League (GPL) Organising Committee, a member of the CAF Inter-Club Committee and board member of the RTU – a club’s whose return to elite football in 2001 he spearheaded – after eight years in the doldrums. Alhaji Jawula, who was a former Chief Director of the Minis­try of Finance, Ministry of Railways, Ports and Harbours as well as the Ministry of Health, was the present Lepowura of the Kujolobito Gate of Lepo-Kpembe in the Kpembi Tradi­tional Area in Gonjaland, Northern Region.

He also served as the Vice Chair­man of the Ghana 2008 Nations Cup Local Organising Committee (LOC).

Born in 1949 by Kpembiwura Jawula Ababio, a former CPP party chairman and the only child of his mother, Lepowura Jawula attended the University of Cape Coast where he read English and Economics for his first degree before graduating with Master’s degree from the Uni­versity of Ghana, Legon, in African Literature and Social Policy.


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