Christian Chukwu

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Christian Chukwu Okoro (born 4 January 1951[1]) is a Nigerian football former player and former national team coach. A defender in his playing days, he captained the Nigeria national team to its first win in the African Nations Cup.

Playing career[edit]

As a player, he became the captain of Enugu Rangers football club and the Nigeria national team in the late 1970s. He was the first Nigerian captain to lift the African Nations Cup trophy after a 3–0 victory over Algeria in the final of the 1980 tournament.[2]

Coaching career[edit]

Chukwu started his coaching career in Lebanon in the mid-1990s, before being appointed coach of the Kenya national team in 1998. Later, from 2003 to 2005, he coached Nigeria, leading them to reach semifinals at the 2004 African Cup of Nations. During the 2006 World Cup qualification phase, Chukwu was blamed for inept coaching and management of the Nigerian national football team, and two matches before the qualifying campaign was over, he was suspended.[3] In two matches – home and away – against eventual group winners Angola, Nigeria failed to win either one of those two encounters. This was blamed on Chukwu and those two crucial failures eventually led to Nigeria failing to qualify for the World Cup, after having appeared at all World Cup finals tournaments since their debut in 1994.

Chukwu coached Enugu Rangers to 6th place in the 2008–2009 edition of the Nigeria Premier League. However, he was sacked on 5 August 2009 for failing to reach the club's targets for the season.

Later life[edit]

In April 2019 the Nigeria Football Federation announced that they would help Chukwu pay for his medical bills for treatment in the United States,[4] whole billionaire Femi Otedo said he would also contribute.[5] It was later announced that he would travel for treatment in May after the required funds were raised.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Christian CHUKWU". FIFA. Retrieved 16 October 2009.
  2. ^ "African Nations Cup 1980". 1 May 2003. Retrieved 16 October 2009.
  3. ^ "Nigeria suspends Chukwu". BBC Sport. 21 June 2005.
  4. ^ "Nigeria Football Federation to help ailing legend Christian Chukwu". BBC Sport. 8 April 2019.
  5. ^ "Billionaire Femi Otedola to cover costs for ailing legend Christian Chukwu". BBC Sport. 9 April 2019.
  6. ^ "Chukwu to travel for treatment in May". BBC Sport. 24 April 2019.