By Victor Nwachukwu
Assault on Nigeria’s Olympics team: Ex Super Eagles defender calls for probe
Owerri, July 27, 2021
Chikelue Iloenyosi, an ex Super Eagles defender has called for a probe of an alleged assault on Nigeria’s Tokyo 2020 Olympics team.
He made the call while speaking with newsmen in Owerri on Wednesday, against the backdrop of a viral video on social media, portraying a verbal attack on the country’s Olympics team in Vienna, Austria.
Iloenyosi, who is also a Special Assistant to Mr Amaju Pinnick, President of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), condemned the attack which allegedly occurred on July 21, describing it as unwarranted.
He described sports as a major unifying factor in the country, saying bringing the alleged assaulter to book would serve as deterrent to those whose aim was to disrupt peace in Nigeria.
“The verbal attack on our Olympics team is rather unfortunate, uncalled for and should be probed so as to prevent such embarrassment on Nigeria in the future.
“The young man said he is a Nigerian and played for Julius Berger FC in Nigeria and I call for charges to be pressed against him for accusing the team of representing a terrorist organisation.
“Nigeria is united today majorly because of sports, especially football and happenings of this nature should not be left unchecked so that the efforts of our sportsmen to unify the country will not be brought to naught,” he said.
Speaking on the absence of Nigeria’s Under-23 football team at the ongoing Tokyo 2020 Olympics, Iloenyosi said that lack of adequate funding was a major challenge.
Iloenyosi, founder of 042 Football Legends Association, a Non Governmental Organisation that sees to the welfare of ex-footballers in the Southeast zone, called for continued support from Nigerians.
He added that the Pinnick-led NFF was “putting everything together to make sure that we qualify for all youth competitions” while calling for continued support from Nigerians.
He however, condoled with the family of late Imo born ex – Super Eagles player, Philip Amadi, describing him as a lively, friendly and God-fearing team player who until his death, was committed to the growth of football in the country.
He prayed God to grant Amadi eternal repose and his loved ones, the fortitude to bear his loss.