Kidnappers Killing My Dad After Receiving Ransom The Saddest Moment In My Life –Iloenyosi
Chikelue Iloenyosi, a former Super Eagles defender and the current chairman of Anambra State Football Association, has emotionally revealed that his saddest moment in life and career was when his father was kidnapped and later killed despite the family paying N15m ransom, Completesports.com reports.
Chief James Iloenyosi, 86, was kidnapped on November 25, 2013, but was later found dead.
Iloenyosi, who spoke at a ‘World Press Conference’ Thursday in Awka, Anambra State capital, ahead Saturday’s unveiling of his Anambra Grassroots Football Development Program, said aside from that sad and gory incident, he didn’t have any other sad moment all through his illustrious career that spanned through 12 clubs, six (6) on the domestic front and six (6) on the European stage.
“My playing career was one that I always look back to cherish”, starts the dark-skinned defender.
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“I so much enjoyed my career both at home and in Europe so much so that I can say I never had any sad moments.
“But then, I remember when my father (Chief James Iloenyosi) was kidnapped (in 20113) by kidnappers and was later killed despite collecting N15m.
“That was a dark day in my life. Yes, that was the moment I can say was the saddest moment in my life”.
Iloenyosi started his career as a ballboy in Enugu for Rangers.
He later played for Nipost FC, Enugu, Calabar Rovers, Rangers, El-Kanemi Warriors, and Iwuanyanwu Nationale.
From Iwuanyanwu Nationale, Iloenyosi made a big leag into European football following a move to Fenerbahce of Turkey.
“That was a bright moment for my career. We were 18 players put on trials by the Turkish giants, Fenerbahce”, the Anambra FA boss recalled.
“Joachim Loewe, a German, was the coach then. I recall that when I was signed, my salary was $50, 000.
“You can imagine being paid N30, 000 at, Iwuanyanwu Nationale and now $50, 000.
“Whenever I came into Enugu, I was like spending money anyhow”.
Iloenyosi went on to star for the Nigeria U20s, Flying Eagles during the 1999 FIFA U20 World Cup finals which was staged in Nigeria.
In 2000, he made the final cut for the Sydney Olympic Games U23 squad.
He called time on his career following injury concerns but not after stints at Fenerbahce, Tennis Borussia Berlin Germany), Caykor Rizespor (Turkey), Ittihad (Libya), Asters Tripoli (Libya), and,Al-Ittihad (Libya).
During Thursday’s World Press Conference at the State Football Association Secretariat, Udoka Estate, Awka, ahead of Saturday’s unveiling of his ‘Anambra Football Development Program’ initiative, the former Nigeria international said the project will help pull youths out of the streets and help them embrace football to discover and horn their natural talents to become useful not only for themselves but for the state and nation at large.
The ‘Capacity Chairman’ as he’s fondly called, disclosed that the program will involve going into all the 21 local government areas of the state in a bid to get the bests of U15s, U16s, U17s, U20s, and U23s players in the state.
“Only football unifies all segments of the state and nation”, ‘General’ Iloenyosi pointed out.
“The aim of the ‘Anambra Grassroots Football Development Program’ is to help bring the youths out of the streets, help them discover their God-given talents, and nurture them to become the next superstars.
“Through the program, we’ll get into the 21 local governments of the state, get the young talents, U15s, U16s, U17s, U20s, and U23s.
“We want players from the state to be involved in all levels of the national teams”, Iloenyosi stressed.
He disclosed that Saturday’s unveiling program has equally received the blessings of the state government.
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“When I came in I held a meeting with the state Deputy Governor.
“I’ve also held talks with the hierarchy of the State Sports Development Commission and I’m happy to inform you that we are working in synergy.
“Don’t forget that Governor Chukwuma Soludo Administration in the state is one of integrity.
“The government has asked me for my program and I’ve clearly stated that to them.
“On my request, the state Sports Development Commission has granted the FA free use of the Awka City Stadium for all football-related activities”.
All football academies in the state, grassroots football teams, male and female as well as secondary schools have been invited for Saturday’s unveiling program where football-related items would be given out to them.
To underscore his determination to spike up the football revolution in the state with emphasis on grassroots, the FA boss hinted that Governor’s Cup as well as the Academicals competitions will be revitalized in the state.
“Through my association with former NFF President, Amaju Melvin-Pinnick, I realised there are huge potential sponsors from Anambra State.
“But of course, they would want to wait and see what you can offer”, he explained.
“It won’t be a one-off thing, no, not at all,” he stated.
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