A whole galaxy of football followers, friends, colleagues, fans, and leaders across the world, are expected to link up with the Parliamentarians to say a few words in appreciating and celebrating the exceptional football icon and gentleman at 70, ‘Chairman’ Christian Chukwu, on the Sports Parliament this Thursday from 10:30pm, on Africa’s largest TV network, NTA.
The former Greem Eagles and Rangers International of Enugu just marked his 70th years on earth and the world celebrated him at the dawn of 2021.
While paying homage to his former teammate, Olusegun Odegbami stated: “Many, of the younger generation, may not know him, or appreciate the significance of the person of Christian Chukwu, MFR, in the history of Nigeria.
“He is a retired football player and coach. He played leading roles for the Igbo people, for Nigeria, and for football on the African continent throughout the 1970s.
“From the ashes of the Civil War in 1970, as a young 20-year-old, he started to climb the ladder of national responsibility. The Igbo will never forget the role he played in national reconciliation, reintegration, and the restoration of the dignity of his people through a football club that he led to erase every vestige and strand of the ‘conquered’, as he marched on to lead his colleagues at the club and national levels to dominate Nigeria, the challenge for continental honours and conquer Africa in a manner reminiscent of warriors.
“His teams left an indelible mark everywhere he led his teams to play, because every match was akin to going to war.
“For 10 years, Chukwu led Rangers of Enugu and the Nigerian national team to create the fastest developing period for football in the country’s history, leading from the front, always by example and the never-say-die-attitude of a soldier!
“He was declared the best player of the 1980 African Cup of Nations, and was a terror to every country on the continent with his style of play and leadership on the field throughout the decade, 1970 and 1980.
“He became a coach and was part of every major achievement for another decade – 1985 Under-16 world Cup, Tunisia ’94, USA World Cup ’94’, Atlanta 96 and more!
“How he never converted these to political and cultural currency remains a mystery, because not only is he loved by the people, he is respected by all.