The Nigeria Football Federation has moved to provide support for former Nigeria captain and Coach Christian Chukwu is sick and requires medical attention in the United States.
Grand Patron of Ex-Enugu Rangers Players Association, Benson Ejindu, said Chukwu, who captained the national team to their first ever Africa Cup of Nations title on home soil in 1980, is very sick and in urgent need of support to enable him get medical attention overseas.
He added that the ex-Super Eagles coach needed $50,000 for a trip to the United States, where he would undergo surgery, medication and general after-surgery care.
Ejindu said a gofundme account was opened for Chukwu’s medical treatment, adding that $2,450 had been donated by various individuals.
NFF president, Amaju Pinnick, who is in the United Kingdom, told thenff.com on Sunday that he had mandated the Chairman of Enugu FA and Member of the NFF Executive Committee, Chidi Ofo-Okenwa, to pay a visit to Chukwu 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, Seyi Akinwunmi, to take full charge and ensure that this matter is treated promptly,” Pinnick stated.
“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 April 1. The NFF would always be there to lend support to our legends in their hour of need.”
Meanwhile, Ejindu, who made Chukwu’s condition known in a Facebook post, said several former Nigerian players had died because they didn’t get medical help on time, pleading that Chukwu shouldn’t be allowed to die after his service to the country.
“Former players like the late Kenneth Ilodigwe, Christian Madu, Kelechi Emetole, and others who have passed on could have lived longer, if more hands were on deck to help with their health issues.
He said, “I am asking you to join me, this time around, in raising funds for Chukwu, who is currently in Nigeria receiving treatment for various ailments.
“Your financial support will help fly him to the United States for better treatment. We are hoping to raise about $50,000 to cover Christian Chukwu’s trip from Nigeria and all the medical expenses. The leftover funds will help set up a health and welfare account for all ex-Rangers players.”
Chukwu, the first Nigerian to lift the AFCON trophy, also captained Enugu Rangers to win the Africa Cup Winners’ Cup in 1977.
Between 2002 and 2005, Chukwu was head coach of the Super Eagles, leading the team to win bronze at the 2004 AFCON in Tunisia.