19 years later, NFF still owes me salary as Eagles coach – Christian Chukwu

Adebisi Aikulola
Adebisi Aikulola
Christian Chukwu

Christian Chukwu, former Super Eagles captain, says the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) still owes him salary from his time as the country’s male senior national team head coach.

Chukwu, nicknamed “The Chairman”, was head coach of the Eagles between 2002 and 2005.

He led the team to a bronze medal at the 2004 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) in Tunisia.

The manager was relieved of the job in June 2005 during the qualification campaign for the World Cup in Germany.

In a chat with The Athletic Nigeria on Monday, Chukwu said, 19 years after his stint with the Eagles, the NFF has yet to pay him some of his salary from the period.

The Chairman added that he is not the only indigenous coach owed by the federation, adding that some of the victims are dead now.

“They owe Nigerian coaches. They don’t owe foreign coaches. It is a problem. You take on an indigenous coach who takes a cheap salary, and you owe him,” Chukwu said.

“Is it proper? Are you encouraging him to do his job? I am still owed up to today. They are still owing me till tomorrow. My files are there with the NFF. There is nothing I can do [to get them to pay me]. The file is there. Go to their office, and you will see how much they owe me. Not only me, but other coaches are being owed too. Some are late.”

In 2019, Chukwu suffered prostate cancer, which affected his leg. The family had to open a GoFundMe appeal to solicit funds for the Nigerian football legend’s medical treatment.

Femi Otedola, the billionaire businessman, eventually paid $50,000 for Chukwu’s treatment overseas.

Chukwu led Nigeria to its first AFCON success in 1980. He also led the Enugu Rangers FC team that won the Africa Cup Winners Cup in 1977.

Chukwu also served as assistant coach of the first team to win a FIFA World Cup trophy for Nigeria, the Golden Eaglets, which triumphed at the FIFA U16 World Cup in China in 1985.

He was also assistant coach of the team tagged the Golden Generation—the 1994 class of Super Eagles that qualified Nigeria for its first FIFA World Cup finals.

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