Sofoluwe, who was diagnosed with mild cerebral atrophy, a brain disease, died on Tuesday evening at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital aged 53.
In a statement signed by the media office of the Minister, Dare expressed shock at the sudden demise of the former national team defence stalwart.
“The news of Yisa Sofoluwe’s death is quite devastating and one that hit me like a tornado,” the statement quoted Dare as saying.
“He was a great, committed, disciplined, humble and patriotic player. He came ahead of his time. No wonder he was nicknamed the Dean of Defence by ace commentator Ernest Okonkwo.
“My condolences and prayers go to his wife, children, teammates and the football community. He died just when help was on the way to pay for his surgery. His death is a huge loss. Rest in peace Dean of Defence.”
The NFF in a statement on Twitter said, “We are devastated to hear of the passing away of former Green Eagles Defender Yisa Sofoluwe after a brief illness on Tuesday. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and the football community in Nigeria. May his soul Rest In Peace.”
Sofoluwe had an illustrious club career with Shooting Stars, Abiola Babes, Julius Berger and Gateway FC, and was capped 40 times for the Super Eagles, scoring once for the national team.