By Amaechi Agbo
The expected report of the investigative panel set up by the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF to unravel cause of death of Nasarawa United player, Chineme Martins, will no long be submitted on Thursday, March 26, 2020.
Chineme Martins, Nasarawa United defender, slumped and died in the Lafia City stadium, Nasarawa State during a league match between the Solid Miners and Katsina United.
The NFF last week inaugurated a panel to investigate the cause of Martins’ death with their report expected to be submitted to the minister of youth and sports development, Sunday Dare on Thursday.
However, the NFF Wednesday disclosed that the submission date is no longer feasible as the federation in compliance with the directives of the Federal Government on the raging coronavirus outbreak has altered the work plan of the investigative panel.
Following the current trend of events arising from the Covid-19 scourge, the panel has temporarily suspended its activities, including submission of its final report.
This change in work plan has also been approved by the NFF leadership.
“Since the inauguration of this committee in Benin City on Monday, 16th March, members have been at work. We have inspected facilities in Benin City and Lafia, and spoken to personalities who were involved one way or the other in the organization of the match in which the player died. We have been able to extract useful information all round. Our plan was to submit the report to the Hon. Minister on Thursday, 26th March 2020.
“We returned from Lafia on Tuesday morning, but have had to change our plans because of the trend of events and the pronouncement by His Excellency Mr. President himself, as well as other directives by the Federal Government. We are forced to suspend our activities,” chairman of the committee, Dr. Peter Singabele said.
Singabele added that if the committee had a challenge in its job, it was the risk that members took to interact with people at this trying period in Nigeria.
“I won’t say strictly that there were challenges. If there was a challenge it was that we took a big risk moving around at this time. We were bound to hold meetings and meet people and we could not tell who was infected at any time.
“We just have to observe preventive measures by returning to our homes and continuing to work from there.”
The panel also assured members of the football family its findings and recommendations would be submitted as soon as the current health challenge is under control.