Retired international goalkeeper, Carl Onuoha Ikeme could get an accelerated appointment into the coaching crew of the Super Eagles, as part of Nigeria’s efforts to ensure he does not wallow after quitting the round leather game.
This much was disclosed at the weekend by general-secretary of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Dr Sanusi Mohammed, who said the soccer body will offer Ikeme education openings to become a goalkeepers’ trainer and then absorb him into the technical crew of the Eagles.
Sanusi disclosed further that the NFF top brass are in contact with Ikeme, who announced his retirement from the game on Friday, with a view to assisting him in training as a coach.
Ikeme, who was diagnosed with acute leukaemia in July 2017 but who entered into complete remission only last month, announced his decision to retire from the beautiful game on Friday.
Ikeme was in goal for the Super Eagles in 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches against Swaziland home and away, and away to Zambia.
He was also there for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Tanzania home and away, and against Egypt at home, and; in friendly matches against Democratic Republic of Congo, Cameroon and Niger Republic.
He played 191 matches for his club, Wolverhampton Wanderers, and was pivotal in the club’s promotion from League One to the English Championship.
Ikeme is currently being heavily celebrated for uniting a club more renowned for its divisive tendencies.
Though Sanusi admitted that the circumstances of Ikeme’s retirement are painful, the NFF scribe went on to reveal that the officials had been in the know about the keeper’s plans, considering the health implications he has faced since last year.
Sanusi added: “The circumstances of his retirement from the game are somewhat depressing, even as we thank God for his life.
“A few weeks ago, he had spoken on phone with the NFF President and 1st Vice President of CAF, Mr. Amaju Melvin Pinnick, to intimate him on his desire to retire.
“Though he was sad about, the NFF President commended his fighting spirit and respected his decision, and also said he would rather allow the player or his club to break the news.
“Carl Ikeme was an embodiment of absolute dedication, commitment and patriotic fervour in the games that he played for the Super Eagles.
“The Nigeria Football Federation will find the resources to send him on a coaching course, and afterwards absorb him into the technical crew of the Super Eagles. That is the least we can do for such a dedicated patriot.”