NIGERIAN Football Federation (NFF) officials have undertaken to fund the treatment of former Super Eagles skipper and head coach Christian Chukwu who needs to travel abroad for urgent medical attention.
Chukwu, 68, was the first Nigerian skipper to lead the Super Eagles to continental glory when he captained the team that won the African Cup of Nations in 1980. he subsequently became a coach of the U17 team and eventually ended up becoming the head coach of the Super Eagles, leading the team to the 2004 African Cup of Nations in Tunisia where Nigeria came third.
Over the last week, it has emerged that Coach Chukwu needs urgent medical attention in the US and NFF chairman Amaju Pinnick has said the federation will foot the bill. He added that he has mandated the chairman of Enugu State Football Association and member of the NFF executive committee,. Chidi Okenwa to pay Chukwu a visit and get the details of his challenges.
Currently in the UK, Mr Pinnick said: “I am not in Nigeria presently but I have asked the NFF acting president 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 second Aiteo-NFF Awards in Lagos on April 1 and the NFF would always be there to lend support to our legends in their hour of need.”
Mr Pinnick who is also first vice president of the Confederation of African Football (Caf), is on his way to Cairo, for a final inspection of facilities for this year’s Africa Cup of Nations finals. he will also meet with the tournament’s organising committee and the Caf executive committee ahead of Friday’s draw ceremony.
It is believed that Coach Chukwu needs $50,000 for his round trip to the US to pay for surgery, medication and general after-surgery care. Benson Ejindu, a patron of Chukwu’s former club, Enugu Rangers, has already launched a Facebook campaign to raise funds for the legend.
Apart from his feats with the Super Eagles, Chukwu also captained the Enugu Rangers team that won the Africa Cup Winners’ Cup in 1977. Nicknamed Chairman for the authority he exuded as he marshalled the defence and launched onslaughts on the opposition defence for club and country, Chukwu was the assistant coach of the Nigerian team that won the first ever U17 World Cup in China in 1985.