“I am very happy with the efforts of the NFF, through Amaju Pinnick. He (Pinnick) has proved that he is truly (a) father of Nigerian Football. I am also grateful for the support and prayers of other Nigerians,’’ Chukwu was quoted as saying on arrival.
“It is waist pain and stomach upset that I keep feeling. The Doctors in Nigeria have treated the stomach upset and it remains the waist pain, but I am confident that I will come back to Nigeria having regained sound health”, the ailing Chukwu was also quoted
The statement said Chukwu and wife were seen off at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos by Aisha Falode, a member of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Executive Committee, and some protocol officials of the federation.
Penpushing recalled that when news of Chukwu’s health challenges broke, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) had moved immediately to ascertain the nature of his illness and to provide support.
“Then, Pinnick had delegated Chidi Ofo-Okenwa, the Chairman of Enugu State Football Association and member of NFF Executive Committee, to pay Chukwu a visit. The Federation also sought financial support from philanthropic individuals, with Femi Otedola, the Chairman of Forte Oil, donating 50,000 dollars.’’
Penpushing also reports that Chukwu nicknamed ‘Chairman’ who captained Nigeria to their first Africa Cup of Nations win in 1980 had received the then brand new Unity Cup from then President Shehu Shagari.
The soccer legend also captained Rangers International Football Club to the Africa Cup Winners’ Cup in 1977, served as assistant coach of the first team to win a FIFA World Cup trophy for Nigeria, and that was the Golden Eaglets team which won the FIFA Under-16 World Cup in China in 1985.
Penpushing recalled that, Chukwu was also assistant coach of the Super Eagles team which qualified for Nigeria’s first FIFA World Cup finals, appearing at the 1994 finals in the United States of America(USA),while the team had also earlier won the Africa Cup of Nations title same year and reached the Round of 16 at the FIFA World Cup.
The former old Green Eagles Captain was head coach of the Super Eagles, between 2002 and 2005, leading the team to win bronze medal at the 2004 Africa Cup of Nations in Tunisia.