The Nigerian government expressed sympathy for Super Eagles, number one goalkeeper, Carl Ikeme, who was diagnosed with leukemia last week, The Guardian reports.
Solomon Dalung, the minister of youth and sports development, who spoke on behalf of the federal government, reassured the goalkeeper, who is currently receiving treatment at the Christie Clinic in Manchester, that Nigerians were with him in prayer as he continues his treatment.
“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,” Dalung said.
“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.
“You have been our source of pride and your performances as goalkeeper for the Super Eagles stands you out like a star. We are indebted to you and will stand by you to support, pray and encourage you in this trying period. We wish you a quick recovery and hope you leave the hospital soon,” he said.
In his response, Carl Ikeme thanked the government for reaching out to him through the phone call.
“I am so happy to hear from Nigerians through the federal government and my spirit is lifted,” Ikeme is quoted as saying.
“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.”
Earlier the president of the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, Amaju Pinnick and the Super Eagles Coach, Gernot Rohr had flown to Manchester to visit the ailing goalkeeper.
Pinnick also thanked the government for their show of love for one of its own adding that this will go a long way in speeding up the healing process of the goalkeeper. Rohr also assured the minister that he was working relentlessly to qualify Nigeria for the Africa Cup of Nations and the FIFA World Cup.