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Martins, footballer slumps, dies during Nigerian league match

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Chieme Martins

Tragedy struck Nigeria’s football community yesterday when a Nasarawa United player, Chieme Martins, slumped and died while one of the Nigeria Professional Football League games was on.

According to eyewitnesses, Martins slumped after a collision with a Katsina United player on Sunday afternoon, and efforts to revive him by the medics and subsequent rush to the hospital were unsuccessful.

A source said after the collision, the Peugeot 406 ambulance stationed at the match venue did not start. The player was eventually transported to the hospital in a press crew vehicle.

The player was attended to by medics of the two clubs when he slumped and was later rushed to Dalhatu- Araf Specialist Hospital in Lafia, Nasarawa State, where he was pronounced dead.

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According to a source, when the game was still goalless, Martins collided with a Katsina United player and fainted. A video of his teammates crying after the unfortunate incident has since gone viral.

Nasarawa United went on to win the game 3-0 but they will be deeply pained by the irreparable loss.

Reacting to the incident, chairman of the League Management Committee (LMC), Shehu Dikko, said they anticipate an autopsy to establish the cause of the player’s death, while regretting the passing of the young man in his prime.

“We commiserate with Nasarawa United and the immediate family of the late player,” Mr Dikko said.

“It is hoped that the findings of the autopsy would inform subsequent measures, if any that has not been addressed by the existing standard procedure,” the LMC chief stated.

Furthermore, the LMC will keep engaging the club and the player’s immediate family to find the best way possible to offer support in this sad moment for the family and the Nigeria football family at large, he said.

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