Stories by Amaechi Agbo
The minister of youth and sports development, Sunday dare has directed the League Management Company, LMC, the body responsible for supervision, monitoring and administration of Nigeria Professional Football League, NPFL, and the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, to henceforth enforce ‘no paramedics no league match orders’ in the league.
The minister gave the order on Monday in Abuja while speaking with journalists.
The minister’s order came in the wake of the sudden death of Nasarawa United FC defender, Chineme Martins who collapsed and died on Sunday during matchday 23 clash between Nasarawa UUnited and Katsina United in Lafia City Stadium, Lafia, Nasarawa State.
Mr Dare who spoke to journalists at the Conference Room of the ministry of youth and sports development, Abuja, said that the unfortunate death of Chineme Martins was avoidable were the management of the league and club owners proactive in taking actions by ensuring that all necessary medical equipment are provided before the match.
Mr Dare said that the decision to enforce the rule was taken after due consultations and calls made to the LMC, NFF and other to relevant stakeholders with a view to finding a lasting solution towards avoid such ugly situation in Nigeria’s sports.
The minister added that the measure will commence from March 14, 2020 noting that any match played in the league without full medical facilities will be declared illegal.
“Henceforth, from March 14th 2020, no league match would take place without paramedics personnel and necessary equipment as provided for in the NFF Club licensing Regulations. This decision was reached to ensure prompt response in the event of any incident during matches.
“We don’t want any avoidable deaths in our match venues or any other sports for that matter.”
Under the arrangement, all match commissioners, host State FAs are to inspect all medical facilities at match venues, test-run it to confirm that they are working before the commencement of any league game.
Meanwhile, the Minister has offered his condolences to the family of the departed player and his club. He assured that adequate measures would be put in place to forestall future occurrences.
“The death of Nasarawa Utd FC defender Chineme Martins who slumped during NPFL’s Match is sad but regrettably avoidable. While registering my condolences with team/ family, Ministry will immediately work with NPFL to roll out mandatory conditions before any match is played,” the minister said Sunday after the incidence.
Martins before his death, played for FC Abuja, Gabros, then FC Ifeanyi Ubah before he joined Nasarawa United.
Nasarawa United’s 3-0 win over visiting Katsina side was overshadowed by Martins death as the players, coaches and officials of the club cried profusely after the final whistle