Expert seeks comprehensive insurance cover for sportsmen, women


A call has gone out for a sustained insurance cover for sportsmen and women to ensure the welfare of their defendants in cases of fatalities.

An insurance expert, Chief Abel Ndu, said this while reacting to the plane crash in Medelin, Colombia on Tuesday which killed players and officials of Chapecoense FC of Brazil, Ndu said air travel was risky, adding that comprehensive insurance for athletes and their officials remained expedient.

Ndu told the journalists on Wednesday in Abakaliki that the itinerary of sportsmen and women required regular air travels.

“Sportsmen and women should be appreciated for their patriotism because they risk their lives every time, travelling on air to represent clubs and countries.

“Developed countries have realised this fact for long which makes them pay adequate attention to players’ insurance cover during contracts signing and national team engagements.

“Nigeria and all other African countries must ensure that professional sportsmen and women have their lives insured to ward-off abandonment after fatalities.

“In Africa for instance, football clubs only travel by air when they engage in continental competitions but regular road travels for domestic engagements also come with high risks,’’ he said.

He called on the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) to ensure that insurance cover for players was entrenched and implemented in the contracts between players and clubs.

“It is disheartening that clubs whose players sustained injuries in road crashes during the just concluded league season had no insurance covers for them.

“The clubs handled the players’ treatments at various hospitals unprofessionally and this erodes players’ commitment and negates adequate welfare for them.

“Abroad-based players should also be offered adequate insurance covers to take care of eventualities when they honour international calls,’’ Ndu said.

On his part, Mr Desmond Ome, the Secretary of Ebonyi Football Association, urged the governments of Colombia and Brazil to immortalise the players and sports journalists killed in the crash.

“This should also teach Nigerian sports administrators the lesson of ensuring players’ welfare due to inherent risks in the venture.

“Players are owed a backlog of salaries and allowances, among other entitlements while they are not adequately equipped to cater for their dependants when befallen by disaster,’’ he said.

The ill-fated plane killed 71 of the passengers that included journalists, sparing only six survivors.

The Nation

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