President Nigeria Football Federation, Amaju Melvin Pinnick on Monday led a delegation of NFF chieftains and team staff to visit Super Eagles goalkeeper Carl Ikeme at The Christie Clinic in Manchester, where he is being treated for Cancer.
Carl Ikeme was diagnosed with acute leukemia after returning “abnormal blood tests” during pre-season testing at English club Wolverhampton Wanderers about 9 months ago and had to undergo chemotherapy.
Ikeme made his international debut for Nigeria on 5 September 2015 against Tanzania in a 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualification game. He was also in goal for the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup preliminary fixture against Swaziland and the first match of the group phase against Zambia in Ndola.
Ahead of the Super Eagles friendly against Serbia on Tuesday NFF President Pinnick led a delegation including Vice President, Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi, General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, Super Eagles’ Team Administrator, Dayo Enebi, Eagles’ goalkeepers’ trainer Alloy Agu and team media officer, Toyin Ibitoye to see the goaltender.
Pinnick said: “We have come on behalf of the Government of Nigeria and the NFF to check up on you, find out how your recovery is going and to tell you that you are still very much on our minds and a member of the Super Eagles of Nigeria.
“We have also come to seek your permission to be our special guest at the pre- World Cup friendly game against England at the Wembley Stadium on 2nd June. We want you to perform the customary kick-off of that game and if you approve of it, we will immediately request this of The Football Association.”
The NFF boss further assured the goalkeeper that he would be fully captured in the team’s financial benefits for Nigeria’s qualification for the FIFA World Cup having played a part.
On his part, Ikeme apparently touched by the visit and kind words from the Federation President and other members of the delegation thanked the delegation and Nigerians in general for their support.
“I am so overwhelmed by this show of love. I am indeed grateful to Nigerians who daily flood my phone with prayers and well wishes. I feel their love everywhere, everyday, on social media,” said an ecstatic Ikeme.
“I thank the Government of Nigeria and the NFF for all the support and I appreciate my teammates so much for being there for me.”