By Akeem Lawal
Super Eagles goalkeeper Francis Uzoho has defended his decision to get married at 20.
The Omonia shot-stopper on loan from Deportivo La Coruna abandoned bachelorhood to tie the knot with his longtime girlfriend, Soomie in a colourful traditional wedding in Owerri, Imo State in December 2018.
The Nation reports Uzoho’s decision to settle down early was questioned by Nigerians who wondered how a 20-year-old, especially a professional footballer from Africa, could take such a bold step.
Speaking with Sports Zone, a sports program on Lagos Talks, the shot-stopper, whose marriage is blessed with a baby boy, said he prayed over it and consulted member of his family before taking such decision.
“It was a personal decision. I came from a family who are very religious and my wife as well. So we can’t keep doing boyfriend and girlfriend stuff. I’m not saying it’s the reason why I got married but I prayed over it and asked questions. I sought for advice from my dad and some older ones in my family and they said okay it’s my decision, if I am convinced that I want to get married now. They gave me advice and that was it and my wife did the same thing as well. That we could be doing play play something now and something will come up (laugh),” he explained.
Uzoho also gave reasons for looking older than his age, stating that his physique changed as a result of intensive training.
“In the clubsides, they know my name but when it comes to the national team side, nobody knows me. So it is the same thing when people don’t know you but they tried to look for some things to say.
“Yes, I would have to give it to them, I have to admit it. But you can’t blame me for that because there are some things that are out of my capabilities. I have to tell you I worked towards the physique you are seeing now.
“If you check my picture in Under-17 in 2013, you won’t believe the development. I had to work and develop myself because being slim and lanky, I can’t be in the post and play with guys like Messi (Lionel), Higuain (Gonzalo) and the rest.
“For a sports man, especially goalkeeper, you have to develop yourself and that was what I did. I don’t blame anybody that doubts my age then. I had to go along with it. It is part of the game and I have to learn how to cope with it.”