By Ene Onoja
Businessman Femi Otedola has pledged to foot the medical bills of Christian Chukwu, former Super Eagles’ coach. Chukwu is currently fighting for his life as he is down with an undisclosed ailment.
The 68-year-old has been trying to raise US$50,000 (N17,955,000) in order to travel to the United States for treatment.
The Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) pledged to support the former national team coach.
Amaju Melvin Pinnick, President of NFF who is currently out of the country, on Sunday told NFF.com that the federation was ever ready to support Chukwu overcome his health scares.
“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,” he said. But Femi Otedola in an interview with TheCable has offered to pay the medical bills as a “token of support to a great Nigerian who served his country to the best of his ability”.
Chukwu was widely regarded as one of the best Nigerian defenders of his generation, three years before the Nations Cup success, he had captained local side Enugu Rangers FC side to the Africa Cup Winners’ Cup title.
As a coach he assisted Dutchman Clemens Westerhof as the Super Eagles won their second continental title in 1994.
Chukwu, who took over from Adegboye Onigbinde after Nigeria’s first-round exit at the 2002 World Cup, guided the country to a third place finish at the 2004 Nations Cup. He lost his job a year later when he was fired following a string of poor results.
Three years after losing his job Chukwu was still demanding unpaid salary from the NFF.
The man fondly known as ‘the Chairman’ also managed Lebanese club Safa FC in 1997 and the Kenyan national team in 1998.