A stitch in time may save the life of former Super Eagles coach and captain, Christian Chukwu – and that is the bitter truth.
The ex-Nigerian international, as you read this, YES INTERNATIONAL! Magazine can authoritatively report, is gradually dying.
However, a medical trip abroad that would cost about $50,000 may make all the difference.
Chukwu, nicknamed Chairman by the late irreplaceable sportscaster, Ernest Okonkwo, is battling an undisclosed ailment that requires his being flown abroad, and very fast too, for urgent and necessary medical attention.
Joyfully, The Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, on Sunday, April 7, 2019, promised it won’t abandon the erstwhile captain of Rangers International Football Club of Enugu.
President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Mr. Amaju Pinnick, currently in the United Kingdom, told thenff.com on Sunday that he had mandated the Chairman of Enugu State Football Association and Member of the NFF Executive Committee, Hon. Chidi Ofo Okenwa, to pay a visit to the 1980 Africa Cup of Nations–winning team captain and get the details of his challenges and what needs to be done to return him to good health.
“I am not in Nigeria presently, but I have asked the NFF Acting President, Barr. Seyi Akinwunmi, to take full charge and ensure that this matter is treated promptly. It was for this kind of development that I spoke about the welfare foundation for our legends at the 2nd AITEO-NFF Awards in Lagos on 1st April, 2019.
“The NFF would always be there to lend support to our legends in their hour of need,” Pinnick was quoted to have promised.
For the records, Chukwu captained the senior national team of Nigeria in 1980 when they won their first–ever Africa Cup of Nations. President Shehu Shagari called the shots then as our leader. He equally captained the Enugu Rangers FC team that won the Africa Cup Winners’ Cup in 1977.
He thereafter served as assistant coach of the first team to win a FIFA World Cup trophy for Nigeria – the Golden Eaglets, in 1985, in China.
He again served as assistant coach of the 1994 Super Eagles which qualified Nigeria for her first FIFA World Cup finals, won the Africa Cup of Nations title and reached the Round of 16 at the FIFA World Cup in America.
Between 2002 and 2005, the man whose life is now seriously threatened by a medical challenge was head coach of the Super Eagles, leading the team to win a bronze medal at the 2004 Africa Cup of Nations in Tunisia.
A go fund me has meanwhile been set up for the erstwhile defence don who used to make the days of football lovers with the likes of Emmanuel Okala, Aloysius Atuegbu, Ogidi Ibeabuchi, Adokiye Amasiemeke, Felix Owolabi, Segun Odegbami and so on.