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Saturday, 1 July 2017

Cheick Tiote's death is a lesson to us all - Football legend, Nwankwo Kanu

Nigerian football legend, Nwankwo Kanu has reacted to the death of Ivory Coast's midfielder Cheick Tiote saying it's a lesson and wake up call to act over heart issues in Accra. Tiote died earlier this month after collapsing on suspicion of heart failure while training with his Chinese club Beijing Enterprises...

Speaking to BBC Sport in an interview, the former Super Eagles captain who battled heart problems during his career says he's working on creating awareness on heart problems.

"I'm talking to friends so we can do something to create awareness to try to help children in Africa," Kanu said.

"Tiote's death was not good news. It's not the first time it is happening.

"We lost Marc-Vivien Foe. He died and nothing was done. Tiote is gone and nothing is being done."

It could also be recalled that after the 1996 Olympic, Kanu was sidelined for nine months when doctors at his Italian club Inter Milan's found a heart defect.

He was allowed to resume his career after a successful operation in Ohio in the United States. But the former Arsenal striker had further heart surgery in 2014.

The 40-year old whose Kanu Heart Foundation has facilitated 538 successful operations in England, India, Nigeria and Israel, is planning to build a $17 million dollar cardiac hospital in Abuja, Nigeria.

He also told BBC Sport that he wants to build similar hospitals in east, north and southern Africa.
"One man can not do everything. What happened to Tiote is a lesson to us all. We can't let it go on like this," Kanu told BBC Sport.
"We should talk more about it, information needs to get out there because the problem is huge."
"Our dream is to build a hospital in Nigeria and four other countries in Africa.
"The funds have been the issue but if we can make it happen it's going to help a lot because right now we are taking the kids to India and it cost a lot."
To raise the funds for the hospital project Kanu is bringing together his team-mates at Ajax, Inter Milan, Arsenal and Portsmouth for two charity matches to be played in Lagos and Johannesburg later this year.


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