Calcutta: Disaster has struck Mike Okoro again. After the IFA’s one-match ban and a fine of Rs 30,000, the East Bengal striker was devastated when he learned that his new-born baby, Juliette, was dead. Okoro left for Poland in haste on Wednesday.
Okoro came to know about the shock news while talking over the telephone to a friend in Poland last night. He immediately called up coach Subhas Bhowmick and other club officials to arrange for his departure. He took a morning flight, heading for Poland via New Delhi. In fact, said a course, the baby died some time back and the news had been withheld from the player.
“The whole club is shell-shocked. Okoro was devastated and left for Poland today,” said a club official. He also informed the footballer had a talk with wife Melline and the latter confirmed the news.
The baby was born on July 21. Okoro learnt about her birth while playing for East Bengal in the ASEAN Club Championship in Jakarta.
He, in fact, dedicated his goal for East Bengal in the final of that tournament to the kid. After scoring the goal, he rushed to the touchline and ‘did a Bebeto’, so to say, during East Bengal’s 3-0 win over BEC Tero Sasana on July 26. He was yet to see the baby since her birth.
The East Bengal club will help Okoro’s family “in whatever way possible” to help it recover from the tragedy, said the official.
“We hope Okoro will get over the tragedy and return to field soon. Our full sympathy for him and his family and we are ready to help him in whatever way possible,” he added.