Football fraternity in mourning as Nigerian player dies on pitch

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Nigerian midfielder Chineme Martins has died aged 22 after collapsing on the pitch during a game in the Nigeria Premier League over the weekend.

Martins was playing for Nasarawa United in a top flight game against Katsina United on Sunday when he collapsed.

The ambulance at the Stadium reportedly failed to start.

Nigeria’s Football Federation (NFF) says medical facilities at all clubs must be checked before matches can go ahead.

Martins fell unconscious, unopposed, during the second half of Nasarawa’s league match against Katsina United.

“The player was attended to by medics of the two clubs … and was later rushed to Dalhatu-Araf Specialist Hospital in Lafia where he was later pronounced dead,” the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) said in a statement.

An autopsy is now being carried out to determine the cause of death.

The NFF says no further matches should be played unless there is a full complement of medical equipment at the stadia and personnel “as provided in the NFF Club Licensing Regulations”.

Furthermore, the NFF said all match commissioners and the host FA “are to ensure they inspect all the facilities including carrying out test runs before giving the go-ahead for any match to be played.”

Eyewitnesses told BBC Sport there appeared to be a delay in getting Martins to the hospital because of a problem with the ambulance.

By BBC News

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