NFF Investigative Panel Indicts Nasarawa State FA, FC Over Chineme Martins’ Death

NFF Investigative Panel Indicts Nasarawa State FA, FC Over Chineme Martins’ Death

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By Amaechi Agbo

The Investigative panel set up by the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF to unravel the immediate cause of the untimely death of former Nasarawa United defender, Chineme Martins, have indicted the club and Nasarawa State Football Association over the player’s death, can report.

On March 8, 2020, Chineme Martins slumped and died in a Nigeria Professional Football League, NPFL match between Nasarawa United and Katsina United at the Lafia City Stadium.

His death was described by the minister of youth and sports as “avoidable” and following public outcry over the manner the incident was handled, the NFF set up a fact finding committee to unravel the circumstances that led to Martins’ death.

The committee which was chaired by Dr. Peter Singabele on Thursday, July 23rd, submitted its report to the federation.

Among its findings are the fact that Nasarawa United FC, late Chineme Martins’ club, had neither a medical doctor nor a physiotherapist, with a retired community health assistant heading its medical team, and this led to the mismanagement of the rescucitation process

The report also notes that “There was no functional ambulance at the stadium as at the time of the incident, which led to a faulty evacuation process, and the player died before he could reach the hospital and; Nasarawa FA and Nasarawa United FC failed in their duties to put in place emergency medical services for the match.”
It further adds however that following the refusal of the family of the deceased player to allow for a post-mortem examination on the corpse, the committee could not make a categorical statement on the actual cause of death.  
The committee also recommended that all clubs should have a minimum of one qualified medical officer and a physiotherapist; all club players must undergo mandatory PCMA in line with CAF and FIFA standards; clubs must keep adequate medical records of players and officials and; there must be mandatory pre-season basic medical screening.
There were also recommendations on what home teams must provide before games should start; safety and security precautions to be assured by the State Football Association and; sanctions for Nasarawa FA and Nasarawa United FC.
“The Nasarawa FA should be temporarily suspended from hosting all NFF-organized matches (including domestic league matches) until some clearly stated conditions are met,” it said stressing that the player must be immortalized.

The committee further advised for violating League Man agent Company’s rules, the Nasarawa United FC should pay a fine of N10 million to the LMC for non-compliance with Club Licensing Regulations and violation of NPFL Framework and Rules, and should pay all financial entitlements of the late Martins immediately, including arrears of salaries and insurance benefits, if any.

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