The Nigeria Football Federation has expressed shock and dismay at news on Thursday evening that Super Eagles’ number one goalkeeper, Carl Ikeme, had been diagnosed with acute leukemia.
A stunned NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi, was lost for words after the sad news broke in the international media. “What? This is very, very sad. Carl Ikeme diagnosed with acute leukemia? This is harsh.”
Sanusi stated that the NFF and the Nigerian Football family would rally round the energetic shot –stopper in his difficult period.
“Our thoughts are with Carl at this difficult period. The NFF and the football fraternity in Nigeria are taken aback by this sad development, knowing how strong Carl has been in goal for Nigeria since he made his debut in 2015.
“We have been told that he will start chemotherapy immediately. We want him to stay strong and remain the self –assured man that he has always been, and we will continue to pray for him and wish him the best with regards to the treatment,” Sanusi said.
Ikeme has always shown ability, agility and high level of confidence between the sticks for Nigeria, since taking up the number one goalie’s responsibilities following the sudden retirement of three –time World Cup star Vincent Enyeama from international football in October 2015.
He was in goal for the Super Eagles over two legs of the 2018 FIFA World Cup preliminary round against Swaziland, as well as the 2-1 defeat of Zambia in Ndola at the beginning of the group phase of the 2018 FIFA World Cup race.
He was also in action against Tanzania and Egypt in 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying matches, and in friendly games against Mali and Luxembourg in Europe last year summer.