-New National Star
The former Nigerian Dream team captain, Isaac Promise was buried recently in his home town, Umudim Ohekelem in Imo State. Tongues were sent wagging as the country’s apex football body, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), was visibly absent. The former Olympian died in October 2, 2019 in far away, United States of America after suffering heart attack. Late Promise, while alive represented Nigeria in all age grade teams: Under 17, 20 and 23 where he made tremendous impact in the teams. He was the captain of the Nigerian team that won a silver medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and he represented Nigeria in the Under 17, 20 and 23 youths’ categories. The deceased footballer scored both goals in a 2-0 win over Egypt in the final to help Nigeria secure continental success at the 2005 African U- 20 championship in Republic of Benin. The Imo State indigene who died at the age of 31, was born on December 2, 1987, in Zaria, Kaduna State. New National Star joins other Nigerians in condemning the NFF for not giving the departed football star a burial befitting of his status as a national hero. It is also sad to note that his former team mates like the NFF were absent at the burial. Promise who is survived by his wife Kate and three children spent much of his career in Turkey, with Trabzonspor, Manisaspor and Antalyaspor also had a brief spell in Saudi Arabia with Al-Ahli. Interestingly, he was posthumously voted Forward of the Year by fans of US League side Austin Bold in late November. NFF through its director of communications, Ademola Olajire, however, absolved the football body of any wrong doing saying the plethora of comments trailing the body’s absence were falsehood and misrepresentation. In any case, we implore the NFF to make good its pledge to assist Isaac’s wife and children, as that will not only cushion effect of the loss to the family, but also put the NFF in good light before the eyes of the world. Besides, such gesture will spur others to put in their best for the country. A situation where national heroes are neglected in life and death after serving their father land is condemnable. We make bold to say that in spite of the denials of wrong doing as it concerns the burial of Isaac Promise, the NFF over the years has not shown seriousness over the plight and welfare of exinternationals. New National Star therefore called on the NFF leadership to change its stands on issues that concern those who have served the country meritoriously as players at all levels. At least that will motivate the upcoming players. As it is often said a word is enough for the wise.