Lagos, Nigeria: Super Eagles captain Ahmed Musa has called upon the Federal Government to address the dire situation faced by retired football players, many of whom are grappling with financial struggles and health issues.
Musa made this appeal during the launch of the ‘Let’s Do It Again’ campaign in Lagos, a movement aimed at rallying support for the national team’s quest to secure their fourth Africa Cup of Nations title in 2024 in Cote d’Ivoire.
Musa, a seasoned footballer with a keen understanding of the challenges faced by retired players, emphasized that only a handful of former athletes earned substantial incomes during their active careers.
He noted that the glamorous lifestyle associated with the sport often gave a misleading impression of financial security, leaving many retired players in abject penury.
Speaking directly to Sports Minister Senator John Owan Enoh at the launch event, Musa highlighted the need for the Government to institute measures that would provide financial and healthcare support for ex-footballers.
He emphasized that the current generation of players has learned from their predecessors, recognizing the importance of planning for life after retirement.
“We, the current players, have learned from the past generations because, after football, it seems nobody cares about you again,” Musa lamented.
“Many retired players are suffering from diseases associated with the way they handled their bodies during their active careers. It is not fair that the same country that adored and encouraged them to die on the pitch has abandoned them.”
The ‘Let’s Do It Again’ campaign, launched at the Alliance Francais premises in Ikoyi, aims to foster a positive attitude toward the Super Eagles and garner nationwide support for their upcoming campaign in the Africa Cup of Nations.
Organizers urged Nigerians to rally behind the national team, emphasizing that players perform better when they feel the support of their compatriots.
Musa, expressing his commitment to the campaign, pledged to carry the message to his teammates, reinforcing that Nigeria cares for its football heroes even after their active playing days.
He reminisced about the 2013 victory and the lack of celebratory infrastructure for the team, expressing a desire to experience similar jubilation in the event of another triumph.
As the Super Eagles embark on their journey to the 2024 Africa Cup of Nations in Cote d’Ivoire, Musa’s impassioned plea serves as a poignant reminder of the responsibilities that extend beyond the pitch.
The call for the Government to intervene and provide a safety net for retired players echoes the sentiments of many who believe these sporting heroes deserve recognition and support for their contributions to the nation.
In conclusion, Musa’s appeal underscores the importance of addressing the challenges retired footballers face, shedding light on the need for comprehensive programs to ensure their well-being post-retirement.
As the ‘Let’s Do It Again’ campaign gains momentum, the hope is that it not only fuels the Super Eagles’ pursuit of victory but also sparks a broader conversation about the lasting impact of the beautiful game on those who have dedicated their lives to it.
This article was created using automation technology and was thoroughly edited and fact-checked by one of our editorial staff members