Nigeria’s only individual Olympics gold medalist, Chief Superetendent of Police (CSP) Chioma Ajunwa – Opara, has advised the Federal Government and the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to imotalise former Nigerian player and coach, Paul Ebie Hamilton who died after battling a long illness.
The Bayelsa State – born football tactician, who served Super Eagles in a myriad of capacities over a career spanning two decades, died at the age of 78.
Speaking to Daily Sun Sport after Hamilton was interred in Lagos last Friday, Ajunwa – Opara said it would be a wonderful thing for the Federal Government and by extension the NFF to immolize a coach who played for the senior national team from the 60s to 70s, featuring at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City.
“As a coach, he was the first to lead the Super Falcons to her first FIFA Women’s World Cup in 1991 in China.”
He also steered the Flying Eagles to a third place finish at the 1985 FIFA U20 World Cup in USSR, and coached the Super Eagles in 1989. He had his left leg amputated as the result of many injuries he sustained while playing for the senior national team, the Red Devils, now the Super Eagles.”
Ajunwa-Opara, however berated the NFF for not showing enough presence at Hamilton’s burial, even as she pleaded with the Glass House to pay the late coach all the salaries and entitlements that they are owing him.
“Owing athletes and coaches is like a tradition in Nigeria. When Stephen Keshi died we heard he was owed by the NFF. When Shuaib Amodu died we equally heard he was owed salaries. And the same thing is applicable to our amiable coach, Hamilton.
“Some other coaches who are not even up to the standard of these coaches are also being owed. Let us not make it a tradition. The NFF should rise up to their responsibility. And now that some of these coaches are no more, their families should should be paid these monies”, she stated.