The Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN), Cross River Section, said Monday that 30 years after the death of football legend Samuel Okwaraji, the nation still regretted it.Andinam, who revealed the revelation in an interview with NAN (Nigerian news agency) in Calabar, said Okwaraji had died for his homeland.
He called for better medical care for the nation’s athletes and added that medical teams and team leaders should be active to avoid placing players with a medical challenge.According to him, Nigerians will not have suffered such a monumental loss that they will still remember whether Okwaraji had the proper medical certificates to play the game in which he had collapsed.
He felt that the right people should be placed in the sports administration of the country and added that families of recent sports heroes were not treated fairly. This, he said, should be corrected.”Okwaraji has shown a selfless service and sacrifice that many of our athletes continue to exist, but it is necessary to encourage them.
“Nigeria has been abused on all fronts, but every time it’s a football game, every aspect is together and when we lose, the disappointment grows.”President Mohamadu Buhari must ensure that square anchors are placed in square holes when the Minister of Sports is handed over to an interested person who contributes to the development of sport in the country,” he said.
Similarly, Jude Okoro, senior correspondent for the Sun newspapers in Calabar, said that Nigeria has a system in which many people who have served with merit the nation were not recognized.Okoro said the country had learned nothing from the death of Okwaraji and many other fallen heroes in trying to reform the sports sector and make it more productive.
He said Nigerian athletes no longer had the spirit of selflessness and sacrifice because they knew that if anything happened to them in active service, nothing would be done for their family.”The story has not changed after 30 years; We saw how Stephen Keshi died and Samson Siasia’s mother was kidnapped and so far nobody has talked about it.
“Things like these have made our athletes go beyond the sports market.”They simply say that if you need us, you pay, but if you do not need us, let’s play for other nations,” he said.He added that a change of attitude in the country was needed and that Nigerian leaders had to absorb the culture of a reward system for those who had served the country diligently.
NAN reports that Samuel Okwaraji was a Nigerian footballer and a doctoral student in law from the University of Rome before his death.Born on May 19, 1964, Okwaraji collapsed in a World Cup qualifying match between Nigeria and Angola in Lagos on August 12, 1989, and died in hospital.
Similarly, the football fans that use https://sport.netbet.ng/ recalled on Monday that the late Nigerian midfielder Samuel Okwaraji. Fans who spoke with the Nigeria News Agency (NAN) in Abakaliki said that Okwaraji’s memory had collapsed. during the meeting, he would remain in their minds because of the rare qualities he has shown during his life.
A football historian, Julius Ijeaku, recalled that he was inside the crowded stadium that day, when several football fans died on the terraces, following possible suffocation.”No one noticed the fall of Okwaraji until Samson Siasia saw him panting and foaming in his mouth, which then triggered the alarm.
“The stadium doctors tried to resuscitate him before taking him to the hospital and before the end of the match, the news was announced that he had died,” he said.Ikechukwu Itumo, director of Ebonyi United FC’s Abakaliki team, said Okwaraji still holds the record for Nigeria’s most patriotic player, even at death.
“Not only was he famous for offsetting his airfare at Super Eagles games and refusing to collect allowances, but he also told his teammates with great humility, despite his doctorate in law. “His life is still a good example for today’s football players because the fate of the Super Eagles could have been better if the players imitated their sense of patriotism,” he said.
John Ibegwam, a film producer, said that despite Okwaraji’s sense of patriotism, he was an ingenious midfielder and a great source of motivation for young people.”It was a classic midfielder whose sublime goal against Cameroon in the AFCON group stage of 1988 ranks among the best scored in the competition’s history.
“Okwaraji’s burial keeps the history of the most crowded ceremony in the community so far because it is obvious that the federal government and the relevant football administrators have forgotten it.” “It will be gratifying if such promises are meant to serve as Nigeria’s eternal gratitude for Okwaraji’s selfless service during his life,” he said.
They recalled that Samuel Okwaraji was celebrated by Google Doodle on May 19 by Google for his posthumous birthday.”It also motivated several young people, especially soccer players, telling them that football could be associated with academics, which had a positive impact on many lives,” he said.Ms. Bridget Obi, a merchant and football fan from the hometown of Okwaraji, Umudioka in Orlu, Imo, urged the federal government to keep all the promises made to the family of the deceased at his funeral.