Nasarawa United star Chineme Martins slumped and died of a suspected heart failure during Sunday’s Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) match between his club and Katsina United.
The centre back reportedly slumped while play was ongoing in the Match Day 23 game his side eventually won 3-0 courtesy of Chinedum Ohanachom’s hattrick to ease their relegation worries.
The sad incident has drawn painful similarities with the death of Samuel Sochukwuma Okwaraji during a World Cup qualifying game between Nigeria and Angola in Lagos.
A failure of the Nigerian system.
– Okwaraji slumped on his own (without any collision) in the second half the 1-0 win and died what former Super Eagles defender Austin Eguavoen described as a slow, painful death. Read more here.
– Chineme, www.aclsports.com can also confirm slumped while on his own during the second half of Sunday’s game with his side leading 2-0. They eventually won 3-0.
– In a rather sad development, Aclsports publisher Calvin Emeka Onwuka who was at the National Stadium in Lagos that day reported that the Ambulance initially failed to come up; “Four ball boys were needed to push the ambulance van to start the engine so it could drive onto the pitch”.
– Not dissimilar to what happened in 1989, the ancient Peugeot Ambulance at the Lafia Township Stadium on Sunday failed to start, requiring up to 5 Stewards to push it. (See picture below).
The player was confirmed dead by the time he was rushed to the hospital.
1989 to 2020; over 30 year but things remain the same in Nigeria!
Which way Nigeria?