The Nigerian community in Doha hosted a memorial service for avid footballer and engineer Adewale Akintayo.
A Nigerian man who died while rescuing a drowning woman at Sealine Beach was honoured by members of his local team during a tribute match on Friday.
Adewale Akintayo, 40, died on 17 June when he jumped into the sea along with three others to help the unidentified woman. The group managed to save the woman however Akintayo was declared dead by doctors at a local hospital later that day.
“He was trying to rescue someone in the beach. He got an internal injury and after he came out he collapsed. They tried to give him CPR.. they called the ambulance but before he got to the hospital we lost him,” teammate Sodiq Olawoyin told Doha News.
“He was a very loving brother and is family. Adewale is the kind of person who loves everyone. But no matter how much we loved him, God loves him most. Today we are trying to give him a tribute football match to celebrate him as a footballer, as a team player – to give him a real football celebration,” he added.
The father of two lived in Doha since 2011 and was an avid footballer who played regularly for a club in the local Qatar Community Football League (QCFL) while working as a safety engineer in the construction sector.
The football field, where Akintayo spent countless hours enjoying his passion for the game, was the perfect backdrop for his memorial.
The air was charged with emotion as spectators gathered at Doha College on Friday for the tribute match, their faces reflecting a mixture of sadness and admiration for the extraordinary act of valour displayed by their late teammate.
The match started with a prayer service for the deceased.
A true football send off
Following the service, the focus shifted to the football match itself as UCC Football team faced Swag FC Doha.
The match was a game of two stark halves.
The first half would see Swag FC dominate with two goals in 40 minutes. Courtesy of Ola and Abdulwaris, the team would take a two-nil lead before halftime.
However, the lead didn’t last long as UCC came from behind to equalise before the end of the game. Striker Nelson Idowu grabbed a brace to get his team level.
In the end, the match had a somber and fitting end, with a draw shared for the clubs.