NIGERIA: A former Super Eagles defender and coach, Christian Chukwu, is battling prostate cancer.
Norbert Okonkwo, media officer of Enugu Rangers, who disclosed this said Chukwu had a successful leg surgery five days ago.
“Christian Chukwu has prostate cancer which affected his leg,” Okonkwo told TheCable.
“He had an operation last week and discharged on Thursday but went to stay in a hotel on doctor’s advise to avoid being disturbed by visitors.
“The doctor made this suggestion so that he can recuperate on time. I can confirm to you that Rangers got to know about his situation three weeks ago because the family said they didn’t want it in public space.”
Okonkwo said the club management alerted the governor of Enugu state about the situation, and the governor gave N1.5 million cash for his treatment.
“Rangers management made a quick appointment to see the Enugu state governor which was granted and his Excellency gave a million and a half for his treatment,” he said.
“Rangers management also has been supportive ever since then. Ranger never abandoned him.”
TheCable was also reliably informed that the former player and technical adviser of the Rangers International earns N700,000 from the club.
Early reports on the health challenges of the former Nigeria defense stalwart indicated that there was need to raise $50,000 for his round trip to the US for surgery, medication and general after-surgery care.
A patron of Chukwu’s former club, Enugu Rangers FC, Benson Ezeomeogo Ejindu, made this known via a Facebook post.
Chukwu captained the senior national team of Nigeria as they won their first-ever Africa Cup of Nations title in 1980, receiving the brand new Unity Cup from then President Shehu Shagari.
He also captained the Enugu Rangers FC team that won the Africa Cup Winners’ Cup in 1977.
Nicknamed ‘Chairman’ for the authority he exuded as he marshaled the defense and launched onslaughts on the opposition defense for club and country.
Chukwu also served as assistant coach of the first team to win a FIFA World Cup trophy for Nigeria – the Golden Eaglets that triumphed at the FIFA U16 World Cup in China in 1985.
He was also assistant coach of the team widely known as the Golden Generation – the 1994 Class of Super Eagles that qualified Nigeria for her first FIFA World Cup finals.
He won the Africa Cup of Nations title and reached the round of 16 at the FIFA World Cup in America as an assistant coach.
Between 2002 and 2005, Chukwu was head coach of the Super Eagles, leading the team to win bronze medal at the 2004 Africa Cup of Nations in Tunisia.