The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) at the weekend announced that it will offer retired Super Eagles’ safe hands, Carl Ikeme, coaching education as a goalkeeper trainer and then absorb him into the technical crew of the senior national football team.
NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, disclosed that the federation was in contact with Ikeme, who announced his retirement from the game on Friday afternoon, with a view to training him as a goalkeeper coach.
“Carl Ikeme was an embodiment of absolute dedication, commitment and patriotic fervour in the games that he played for the Super Eagles. The circumstances of his retirement from the game are somewhat depressing, even as we thank God for his life.
“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.”
Dr. Sanusi revealed that the NFF was in the know about Ikeme’s plan to retire from football. “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 (Ikeme’s) desire to retire. Even 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.”
Few minutes after Ikeme announced his retirement from football on Friday, tributes began to pour in for the Nigerian goalkeeper.
Super Eagles winger, Ahmed Musa, wrote on Instagram. “We are going to miss you, wish you luck brother.”
Chelsea defender, Kenneth Omeruo also admitted he would have loved to play more with the 32 year old who he regarded as a legend.
“I would have love to play with you more my bro @carlikeme ..But am happy you will be with us in good health.. You are a legend bro… and am sure Nigerians will miss seeing you in the national team… Good luck my brother and like u said, it’s not a sad day.. where is the retirement party do, ”Omeruo wrote also on Instagram.
Super Eagles vice-captain Ogenyi Onazi also wrote: “Thank God for your life and your health, this is most important bro @carlikeme.”
Daniel Akpeyi who was one of the Super Eagles goalkeepers to the 2018 FIFA World Cup also wrote: “Thank God you got your life back bro, better things ahead.”
John Ogu added: “Thank God for restoring back you Health. And Good luck with your next Chapter. .”
Wolverhampton Wanderers FC of England goalie Ikeme, 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.
He played 191 matches for Wolverhampton Wanderers FC, and was pivotal in the club’s promotion from League One to the English Championship. He is currently being heavily celebrated for uniting a club more renowned for its divisive tendencies.
Ikeme was in goal for the Super Eagles in 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches against Swaziland home and away, and away to Zambia; 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.