‘CAF medical official died of cardiac arrest, not from injuries’
• MKO Moshood Abiola Stadium faces sanctions
• House committee of Sports, Ministry, Presidency meet
Confederation of African Football’s (CAF) medical official, Joseph Kabungo from Zambia, died from cardiac arrest and not from injuries sustained after Nigeria versus Ghana World Cup match, as erroneously reported by some social media outfits, CAF has clarified.
Angry Nigerian fans invaded the Moshood Abiola Stadium pitch at the end of the encounter, which ended 1-1 and effectively ended Nigeria’s hope of qualifying for the World Cup.
They went for the players, who were shielded out of the stadium immediately after the game by security men. Failing to get their hands on their targets, the hooligans descended on the stadium, destroying everything within their reach.
According to a CAF statement published by soka25east.com, “Dr Kabungo had a cardiac arrest when walking towards the team dressing rooms and collapsed on the floor. His unfortunate death was not related to the violence. Confirmed by doctors it’s important we get our facts together in this sad moment as we moan the great gentleman.”
The match’s General Coordinator, Kabelo Bosilong from South Africa, also confirmed that the Zambian died of cardiac arrest.
Meanwhile, Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) officials fear FIFA may ban the Moshood Abiola Stadium, Abuja, from hosting international matches following the violence that followed Tuesday’s World Cup qualifier between Nigeria and Ghana.
According to an NFF official, who pleaded anonymity, Africa’s football ruling body, CAF, has demanded full report of the game and the violence that ensued after the encounter.
The official said: “The match commissioner and the general coordinator for the game have been asked by CAF to provide reports – all of these things have gone viral or global so you’d expect that CAF would ask for a report and I know with what we’ve seen and based on previous experiences, there will be sanctions against Nigeria and the MKO Abiola Stadium for the way things went out of hand.”
The Guardian could not get any of the NFF principal officials, including President, Amaju Pinnick, to comment on the issue and other matters arising from the game against Ghana.
MEANWHILE, members of the House of Representatives Committee on Sports and some Presidency officials, yesterday, met with top Ministry of Sports officials to access the disturbances that trailed Nigeria’s failure to qualify for Qatar 2022 World Cup.
At the meeting with the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Sports, Alhaji Is’mail Abubakar, according Sports Ministry sources, will ascertain the extent of the damage to the facility and what would be required to fix it.
The MKO Abiola Stadium was recently refurbished by the Dangote Group, and Tuesday’s match was the official engagement in the main bowl.
At the end of the meeting, it was agreed that a committee comprising officials from the three arms of government, including House Committee on sports, Presidency and Sports Ministry, will access the damage and report back to government on or before April 3, 2022.