Combining football and education at higher institutions is very difficult to achieve, but there are players currently in the Nigeria Professional Football League and a certain Super Falcons star who have attained that milestone.
IZUCHUKWU OKOSI presented five Nigerian players who have opted to pursue high academic qualifications despite the demands of their footballing careers.
1. EMEKA OGBUH: (Striker, Rivers United)
Rivers United’s Emeka Ogbuh read Marketing and graduated from the Imo State University (IMSU) in 2013.
The striker has scored just two league goals this season.
2. FREDRICK OBOMATE: (Striker, Rivers United)
Another Rivers United player who is combining university lecture classes with football training and games schedules is Fredrick Obomate.
The player who was an unused substitute in Rivers United’s disappointing defeat against FUS Rabat of Morocco in their CAF Confederation Cup Group A game on Friday night is an undergraduate of the Rivers State University of Science and Technology where he is studying Chemical Engineering, and is just into his first year (100 level).
3. IKECHUKWU IBENEGBU: (Midfielder, Enyimba)
Enyimba midfielder Ikechukwu Ibenegbu studied Industrial Micro Biology at the Imo State University and graduated in 2010.
Ibenegbu plays for the Super Sand Eagles. He was also in Nigeria’s team that reached the final of the WAFU Nations Cup in Abeokuta, Ogun state in 2011 and the 2016 African Nations Championship (CHAN) in Rwanda.
4. EMMANUEL BENSON: (Goalkeeper, Nasarawa United)
Nasarawa United’s second choice goalkeeper Emmanuel Benson graduated from the University of Jos (UNIJOS) in 2009 where he studied Geo Planning.
Benson has not been between the posts in any game for his team this season..
5. INI ABASI UMOTONG: (Striker, Oxford United England)
Super Falcons star, Ini Abasi Umotong, in 2017 graduated from the University of Southampton with a first class honour in Economics and Actuarial Science.
Umotong was in Nigeria’s team that crashed out of the group stages in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada.