The 1994 Africa Cup of Nations winner in Tunisia, who conducted this year’s 3rd Nestle Milo Football Clinic in Ibadan, which ended on Saturday, was rushed to Toki Hospital in Surulere, Lagos, after it was reported that he slumped in his office.
Speaking with Complete Sports, Rufai said: “Concerning my losing consciousness, I didn’t know what happened. I was in the office in the evening and having a chat with my younger brother and some of my staff. Before I realized what was happening I found myself at the clinic the following day.
But now I’m focused on this project and right now the only thing I see are these children. Seeing these children always gives me the opportunity to say thank you to Nigerians.”
He described the death of his mother as devastating and hinted that it might have affected his health.
“Actually the passing on of my mum was a kind of devastating blow to me because I remember her saying to me ‘my son I want you to come and see me, if you don’t come, I’m going to come to your office, sit down in your office so that you can see me.’
“I told her ‘Okay mummy I’m coming’, but I had a strategy to go and see her. So it remained just one day for me to go and see her before I got the news of her death. It was like a blow to me but never-the-less, I try to move on, to put together this project and the joy of seeing these children today (Saturday) and also say thank you to Nigerians.”
However, the younger brother to the former Deportivo La Coruna of Spain goal tender Bruce, who was also part of the Nestle Milo Football Clinic, stated that what led to his elder brother’s slump may not be unconnected with the demise of their mother.
“As the eldest son he has a lot of responsibilities. He used to be mummy’s pet because he was so close to my mum, while I was close to my dad. So I believe it affected him a little. Even I try to be on my feet and I hope we will come over it soon,” he said.
Speaking also at the event was Paulo Cardozo who was the expatriate coach for the for the clinic.
“It’s good that he is back on his feet after what happened to him. I hope he stays fit because he is a fantastic person, very good professional and a model to all and also he is a very good friend of mine. I wish him all the best.”