August 17, 2017

Rohr, Pinnick at Ikeme’s bedside

•Dalung conveys Nigeria’s wishes to ailing keeper •I’m lifted —Ikeme

Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr and the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President, Amaju Pinnick, have both paid a soul-lifting visit to goal keeper Carl Ikeme.

Ikeme was recently diagnosed with acute leukaemia and the football world has rallied round the Wolverhampton shot stopper.

Ikeme was in goal for the Super Eagles over two legs of the 2018 FIFA World Cup preliminary round against Swaziland, as well as the 2-1 win over of Zambia in Ndola at the beginning of the group phase of the 2018 FIFA World Cup race.

He has since been out of action for the Eagles due to injury and was expected back for the double header against Cameroon in early September before the ailment.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government has expressed sympathy for Ikeme.

The Minister of Youth and Sports, Barrister Solomon Dalung, who spoke on behalf of the Federal Government, reassured the keeper who is currently receiving treatment at the Christie Clinic in Manchester of Nigeria’s support in a telephone conversation.

“On behalf of the Federal Government, sports-loving Nigerians and football fans at home and abroad, I wish to convey our sympathy and solidarity over your current health challenges. Since the unfortunate development, we have received overwhelming outpour of emotions on your behalf from all parts of the country. We share in your pain. Though you’re thousands of miles away from home, we are with you in spirit and in prayers.

In his response,  Ikeme said: “I am so happy to hear from Nigerians through the Federal Government and my spirit is lifted. I am responding to treatment and I can’t wait to leave here and be with my teammates. This call is worth more than money so I appreciate this show of love from Nigerians, my coach and the NFF President who also took time to come here to visit me. Thank you so much for your love and care.”

The U-23 team of Wolverhampton Wanderers has also rallied round Ikeme in his present condition.

Players and staff of the Wolves U23 team, in a group  photograph, held a large banner with the picture of Ikeme, captioned “Ikeme#TeamKemes” to show their support for the Nigeria shot stopper.

The photograph was posted by former Wolves and Super Eagles midfielder, Seyi Olofinjana, on  his Twitter handle, @SeyiOlofinjana. Olofinjana captioned the photograph thus: “Wolves U23s’ players and staff in a unified front for @Carl_Ikeme. Stay strong pal.”