I simply call him ‘Youngest Millionaire’.
It is a nickname that I gave him next our team’s good results at the 1980 African Cup of Nations.
We experienced been given a whole lot of presents that have to have amounted to a tidy sum. Remaining the youngest participant in the squad at the time (he was 18 several years of age) Henry Nwosu attained the unofficial title, ‘Youngest Millionaire’
For 42 yrs considering the fact that then, Henry and I have had a quite superior but distant marriage. We by no means socialised together even when we were neighbours in the FESTAC houses the Federal Govt gave every single member of the 1980 squad, but remained friendly to every other when and anywhere we achieved along life’s circuit.
When we have been in the national team, every person revered the young midfield participant Nwosu simply because of his commanding existence on the subject and how he marshalled the midfield. He was little in stature, but had the capability to perform affairs in the mid-discipline like a Basic in the army, dictating the rate and tempo of his teams’ effectiveness. Like Stephen Keshi, he was a born chief on the discipline, but contrary to him, he was a lot less so outdoors it. He packed electric power in each ft. He could dribble, pass the ball and shoot quite correctly with either foot.
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After his profession as a participant, apart from for when Main Festus Onigbinde invited him to be a part of his consortium of coaches to the Korea/Japan Globe Cup in 2002, Henry Nwosu has not been as visible and as productive as a football mentor.
Unfortunately, this very last week, the ’Youngest Millionaire’, a Member of the Get of the Niger, MON, has been in the news. He has been hospitalised and is acquiring treatment for a coronary heart-similar ailment. He clearly now demands a bigger amount of professional medical interest. Acquiring fatigued his own economic methods, his matter has been brought to the general public domain by some concerned mates, desirable for monetary aid for the Nigerian hero.
Although some Nigerians are by now responding by creating economical commitments and donations to him, Henry Nwosu’s condition when all over again delivers to the fore the difficulty of the welfare of retired athletes. Nigeria does not seem to be equipped to supply a lasting remedy. Even the Minister of Sports, Sunday Dare, has experienced to intervene on an advert-hoc basis on a number of equivalent situations of sick or dying sporting activities persons. Without having an institutionalised course of action in place to deal with the make any difference of this extremely important phase of society – retired Sports Heroes, the lamentation of a nation failing its heroes will continue on, and this unattractive public outcry for enable will sustain.
The Nigerian sports activities place is littered with the tales of retired athletes heading by ‘hell’ in their previous age.
With out an institutionalised welfare procedure in area, a safety internet with which all retired sportsmen and women can be ‘caught’ in the twilight zone of their life, the tale of Nigerian sports has remained that of retired athletics heroes wracked by lousy wellness and poverty, and deserted to languish at the gates of outdated age.
The quantities are raising astronomically, and the tales getting much more pitiful and ugly.
How does it perform in additional developed sports activities cultures?
In Europe, for football gamers the response has been discovered in an intercontinental organisation launched, funded and run by the gamers on their own, retired and energetic. FIFPRO was especially designed by the players for the players as an impartial organisation to which gamers unions about the planet can subscribe and become members.
In Europe, exactly where its headquarters are domiciled, FIFPRO has turn out to be a big, powerful and quite loaded organisation supported by the statutory contributions of experienced gamers in all the different golf equipment in Europe, and by means of sponsorships of their numerous programmes.
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Nigeria’s retired players have not been beneficiaries of this available medium of support (other than for a short period of time of about 1 12 months) due to the fact of the in-fighting likely on among the retired players and involving the a variety of associations a number of retired gamers have fashioned via the many years.
Not able to current a united front, FIFPRO withdrew its first recognition of the defunct National Affiliation of Nigerian Footballers, NANF, and insisted that the Nigerian Soccer Federation will have to authenticate the Gamers association that FIFPRO will offer with in get to restore Nigeria’s membership.
The NFF leadership seized the opportunity to suppress the Players Association by denying it any recognition, weaponising it as a device to be used and discarded for the duration of elections into the Government Committee.
What can be completed to take care of the situation?
I have just returned from a shorter pay a visit to to Ghana wherever I satisfied with the leaderships of the two soccer unions of gamers in the region, the Union of retired ex-intercontinental players headed by winner of the to start with Africa’s Greatest Participant of the Yr Award, Ibrahim Sunday, and the Professional Footballers Association of Ghana, PFAG, headed by previous Captain of the Black Stars, Samuel Kufour.
Each organisations exist side by side, just about every pursuing their different targets, but with one enabling the even larger of the two unions, PFAG, to sign-up with FIFPRO devoid of rancour. Meanwhile, the two organisations take pleasure in the rewards that arrive by means of FIFPRO to all players, energetic and retired.
Pointless to go into the finer particulars of my visitation. Ghana is only a stone’s throw from Nigeria. The country’s example can easily become a model not just for Nigeria but for many other African countries that are not benefiting from their non-participation in FIFPRO as a final result of petty inside politics as in Nigeria’s situation.
The combating factions in Nigeria, have now been capable to mainly solve their differences, and have arrive closest to getting a common entrance in a recently formed organisation under the management of previous International player, Tijani Babangida, identified as Skilled Footballers Affiliation of Nigeria, PFAN. PFAN will have to now safe the recognition of the Nigeria Football Federation and immediately get back on board the FIFPRO ‘train’ . That is the surest way of staying independent of government and the Nigeria Football Federation, and of possessing entry to the type of internationally accessible cash that can make them pretty purposeful and equipped to fulfill the expanding desires of retired gamers.
In the very last handful of several years, much more critical energy has been manufactured to settle disagreements and birth a united players’ organisation.
Until a new faction was produced with the guidance of the past federation beneath Amaju Pinnick, and applied as a political resource for the duration of the final elections, additional serious work was ongoing to settle the disagreements in between the feuding gamers unions and establish a solitary front. That final hurdle will have to now be taken out for any progress to be manufactured to obtain FIFPRO assist and funding.
Golf equipment and gamers in the domestic leagues have also not aided matters with their lackadaisical attitude to the players’ affiliation, by not registering and having to pay to subscribe as members. This perspective emboldens the golf equipment not to pay out a lot attention to the affiliation that must be shielding and endorsing players’ passions.
Meanwhile, Henry Nwosu’s case brings to the front burner at the time all over again, the situation of the welfare of gamers, all those taking part in as perfectly as those people retired, and also the urgency now required to get the PFAN registered yet again in FIFPRO. That is the critical to the issue of Welfare of Nigeria’s retired and active players. Accomplishment with FIFPRO will serve as template for other sports activities.
I connect with on Philanthropic Nigerians to come and assistance a countrywide treasure that demands enable, urgently. PFAN shall inform you how very shortly.
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