By Emmanuel Okogba
Chieneme Martins: The Nigerian Football Federation, NFF, has ordered that no Nigerian Professional Football League, NPFL, match should go ahead without the presence of paramedics. It also ordered that all Match Commissioners and the host FA are to ensure they inspect all the facilities including carrying out test runs before giving go-ahead for any match to be played.
All Match Commissioners and the host FAs are to ensure they inspect all the facilities including carrying out test runs before giving go-ahead for any match to be played.
— League Management NG (@LMCNPFL) March 9, 2020
This is following the death of Chieneme Martins, a defender of Nasarawa United in a week 23 fixture against Katsina United on Sunday in Lafia.
Martins fell unconscious, unopposed, during the second half and all efforts to resuscitate him and take him to a hospital proved abortive partly because the ambulance around the pitch was non-functional.
Players and stadium staff were seen pushing the vehicle to kick start it before a bus of the Nasarawa state governor’s press crew was used to convey the remains of the deceased to hospital.
“The player was attended to by medics of the two clubs … and was later rushed to Dalhatu-Araf Specialist Hospital in Lafia where he was later pronounced dead,” a statement by the NPFL disclosed.
Nasarawa United’s 3-0 win over visiting Katsina side was overshadowed by Martins death as the players, coaches and officials of the club cried profusely after the final whistle.
Nigeria’s sports minister, Sunday Dare, described Martins’ death as “regrettably avoidable” and said the “ministry will immediately work with the NPFL to role out mandatory conditions before any match is played”.
Martins before his death, played for FC Abuja, Gabros, then FC Ifeanyi Ubah before he joined Nasarawa United.