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Why ex-internationals’ children don’t play for Nigeria— Etim Esin

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Etim Esin
Etim Esin and his wife.

Etim Esin, who in his day was so skillful a footballer he was dubbed African Maradona, has said former Super Eagles players’ children are not following in their fathers’ footsteps because enough had not been done to reward service to the nation.

He said this in an interview with The Cable.

In the interview, Etim Esin said lack of safety nets such as health insurance or trust fund have led to the loss of ex-internationals, naming Keshi, Rashidi Yekini, Sam Okwaraji, Muda Lawal, Ekarika, Okafor and Thompson Oliha.

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His words: “We haven’t done badly, but in terms of making sure that the labours of our heroes past are not in vain, we have not done enough. The labours of our heroes past are in vain.

“Look at John Fashanu. He still gets his benefits because he played for England. We should put our house in order and see what we can do for our ex-sportsmen and women who at one point in time represented this country; be it welfare or trust fund.

“Have you seen any son of ex-internationals following the footsteps of their father at all? If you go to Ghana you see two of Abedi Pele’s sons playing for Ghana.

“That is why Odegbami, Owolabi and other top ex-internationals would rather advise their children to embrace education instead of becoming footballers.

“My take is for us to make the right changes by putting a bill forward at the national assembly and deliberate over this because once it becomes a law, it is binding.”

In an earlier interview with Vanguard, Etim Esin had said his son loved football, but that he won’t pressure the boy to follow his footsteps.

He told Vanguard, “My son plays football but I don’t put any pressure on him. My father didn’t put any pressure on me to play the game, so why would I?

“One day he told me football might not bring quick money, that he would prefer to play music like Davido and Wizkid, so money would roll in quickly.

“He keeps asking me, where is all the money you made in football?”


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