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LMC faults Martins’ April 18 burial date, pledges league will end this year 

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The League Management Company (LMC) Chairman, Shehu Dikko has faulted the April 18 date fixed for the burial of late Nasarawa United defender, Chineme Martins, arguing that it is not suitable because of the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria and across the world.

He noted that the family of the deceased would have made an adequate arrangement with Nasarawa United to bury Martins when the health authorities have eased the COVID-19 virus tension.

Dikko assured the club and Martins family that the LMC would support any burial programme presented for the late 20-year-old defender.

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“The April 18 date fixed for the burial of Chineme Martins by his family is not welcomed by the LMC because of the COVID-19 issue and the lockdown of most states in Nigeria.

“It would have been better for the family to fix the date when the Coronavirus issue is settled. The family may want to do a private burial for Martins… that we cannot say for now. But if they also want his teammates, LMC, NFF and Nasarawa United officials to be present at the burial, they would have carried everybody along in the burial programme.

“Well we don’t know want might happen in the next 18 days on the Coronavirus issue, but if the lockdown continues, nobody will risk travelling for the burial because of movement restrictions.

“The LMC is still keeping communication with Nasarawa United on the burial programme. The club owes the league body the obligation to report any issue going on with the late footballer’s burial.

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“I want to also let you know that the report of the committee set up to investigate Martins’ death will be out when the virus issue is settled.

“The lockdown is affecting the free movement of people.”

The late Martins slumped and died on March 8 during a week 23 NPFL match between Nasarawa United and Katsina United.

On the Coronavirus outbreak and the halt in football activities across the world, Dikko said, “The NFF has reached out to FIFA for any financial assistance they want to give to federations because of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

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He also disclosed that the LMC was working round the clock to ensure the NPFL ended this year.

“As the Coronavirus issue continues globally, the LMC is still focusing on ending the Nigerian league this year.

“We are observing what is happening globally in other leagues that are in this same situation with Nigeria.

“Also, the reorganisation of CAF and FIFA calendars based on the Coronavirus will tell the LMC the line of action to take.

“The Coronavirus outbreak is a global issue and the LMC is not in a haste to crown any club as champions. We pray the global health issues end early enough so that the league will resume,” he said.

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