A Nigerian soccer player has died after an in-stadium ambulance failed to start.
The player, Chieme Martins, 22, collapsed and died during his side’s NPFL clash with Katsina United on Sunday.
According to reports, Martins went down after a collision with an opposing player.
“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.
AGONY! Nasarawa United players in tears after Chieme Martins was confirmed dead after Sunday’s NPFL clash vs Katsina United. Martins slumped following a collision, however, he gave up the ghost stranded as the Peugeot 406 ambulance stationed match venue did not start ??️???️ pic.twitter.com/PbIms2NkXP
— Shina Oludare (@sportingshina) March 8, 2020
According to eyewitnesses who spoke to BBC, there appeared to be a delay in getting Martins to the hospital because of a problem with the ambulance, a Peugeot 406.
His tragic death has cast dark cloud on the local league in Nigeria with sports fans calling out the NPFL for negligence.
They are demanding a probe and have proposed sanctions for persons responsible for ensuring the ambulances at the stadiums are functioning.
Nigeria is the WORST place to ever suffer a cardiac emergency because death will welcome the person within minutes. Basic CPR training is lacking even with the so called club medics. A sad day in Lafia and in Nigeria once again
— Prof. Chief Doc Josh (@dr_dannyjosh) March 8, 2020
The NFL has suspended some scheduled games until there is a full complement of medical equipment at all stadia “as provided in the NFF Club Licensing Regulations”.
Nasarawa United are yet to make any (official) statement about the death of their player.
This isn’t the first time a player has died in mysterious circumstances in the West African country.
In 2018, Kano Pillars player, Dominic Dukudod, collapsed while warming up in a friendly against Nasarawa United.