The Nigeria Football Federation has confirmed the death of a CAF medical officer, Joseph Kabungo, after the 2022 FIFA World Cup playoff match between Nigeria and Ghana on Tuesday.
The NFF’s General Secretary, Mohammed Sanusi, made this disclosure in a statement by the federation’s department of communications on Wednesday.
The PUNCH earlier reported, based on a preliminary assessment, that Kabungo had died following a stampede on his way to the hospital from the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja on Tuesday.
Expressing shock over the sad incident, “The NFF commiserates with the world football governing body – FIFA; the Confederation of African Football; the Football Association of Zambia, and the family of Dr Kabungo on his sudden passing”.
“His death pains us very much and we are in a state of deep shock,” Sanusi said while giving an account of what happened to Kabungo who was the match’s Doping Control Officer.
”According to the information from our own Medical Officer, Onimisi Salami, who was appointed by FIFA as the game’s medical officer, Kabungo was found gasping for breath near the dressing room of the Ghanaian team,” he added but said as he (Sanusi) was heading to the dressing room of the Nigerian team, the General Coordinator, Kabore Bosilong from South Africa had called his attention to the scene.
“Kabungo suddenly started gasping for breath. The match’s FIFA Security Officer, Dixon Okello from Uganda, also witnessed the incident.
“We tried to resuscitate him there and then, but when this did not appear to be working, we put him in an ambulance and rushed him to Cedar Crest Hospital in Apo, where he gave up the ghost.
“It is a very sad incident and one is shocked that some persons have been putting a terrible slant to the whole thing by saying he was beaten up by fans. That is a lie.
“He died as a result of sudden cardiac arrest,” the NFF official insisted.
Meanwhile, some NFF officials, the medical team, and officials of the High Commission of Zambia held a meeting on Wednesday morning.
The focus of the meeting was the next line of action following Kabungo’s demise.