13 June 2016
Former goal tender of the defunct Green Eagles, Emmanuel Okala, has urged the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and football administrators to prioritise the welfare of ex-players and coaches.
Okala, who made the plea on Monday in Enugu, said Nigerians should not just stop at mourning departed ex-players.
He said while it was not out of place to eulogise departed athletes, particularly footballers, the NFF and football administrators should recognise and care for them while they were alive.
“How can we replace two great giants of Nigerian football – Stephen Keshi and Shuaibu Amodu, who passed on just within few days intervals?
“Look at the hardworking Amodu, I am sure that the NFF is still owing him some allowances.
“I know that those people who failed to give him what was due to him while he was alive, are now pouring resounding encomiums on him. This is regrettable,’’ he said.
Okala, who had been a goalkeeper coach for various national teams, noted that the welfare of ex-players and coaches must be held sacrosanct.
This, according to him, is necessary, if the football sector, its administrators and lovers are to be taken serious.
“In other countries, heroes and legends are celebrated for life; just like the case of the late boxing icon, Mohammad Ali,’’ he stressed.