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Okwaraji’s 27th Anniversary: Etim Says Nigeria Not Worth Dying For

 

By James Agberebi:

Former Nigeria international, Etim Esin, has blasted that, following the way the late Sam Okwaraji's family was abandoned since his death, it is not worth dying for Nigeria.

Okwaraji slumped and died on August 12, 1989, during the 1990 FIFA World Cup qualifier between Nigeria and Angola at the National Stadium in Lagos.

Commenting on Okwaraji death, Esin, who also featured against Angola alongside Okwaraji, lamented the way the deceased's family was abandoned since his death.

"I don't think Nigeria is worth dying for judging by Sam Okwaraji's death. At the end of the day there is nothing to gain. We all saw how they abandoned Keshi's burial," Esin told Completesportsnigeria.com.

"Even most of my team-mates have forgotten that today is Okwaraji's remembrance. I would have expected that we come together to organise a tournament for him because most of the kids today might not even know who he is.

"So, it's sad and pathetic." 

The former Flying Eagles and Super Eagles star called for a stronger players' union to help in the growth of football in the country.

"With things like this, you begin to imagine what is there for the new generation. Because if we don't put our house in order, it will affect a lot of generations," Esin added.

"We just have to step up. Our players union must be taken serious just like it is done in other parts of the world.

"As an ex-footballer, you have a role to play. And you see the ex-footballers working with the media in order to develop the game. But in our own case here, it's different. "

He added: "Look at the NPFL All-Stars trip to Spain, does it mean we don't have legends who should have accompanied the team? Instead you have people who are just there for selfish interests.

"So things like this will not move our football forward. There are people who made our league what it is today. But when we see things like this, it's discouraging."

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