Nasarawa United defender, Chineme Martins, slumped and died during their Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) tie against Katsina United in Lafia.
An eyewitness, who was at the Lafia Township Stadium, said the late defender was standing alone when he slumped in the 45th minute of the match which was also watched by Nasawara State Governor, Abdullahi Sule.
“His team had been awarded a free-kick and he was standing alone in their own half when he suddenly collapsed. Other players informed the referee and he was eventually rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead,” the eyewitness said.
It was reported that the Peugeot 406 ambulance stationed at the match venue did not start before the player was eventually rushed to the hospital in one of the vehicles in Governor Sule’s convoy.
“As I speak to you now, we are still at the mortuary, trying to sort out some things. He was rushed to the hospital, where he was confirmed dead.
“The players were only told about Martins’ death after the game. They could not celebrate the victory as they were all crying,” the eyewitness added.
According to the witness, the match continued after the defender was rushed to the hospital and it eventually ended 3-0 in favour of Nasarawa United.
Chairman of Nasarawa United, Isaac Danladi, also confirmed the defender’s death.
“I am at the mortuary now, it’s not ideal for me to talk to the press when we have not notified the family,” he said.