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NFF says CAF official died of cardiac arrest, not stampede

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THE Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on Wednesday said the death of an official of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) after the Nigeria-Ghana World Cup qualifier at the Moshood Abiola Stadium in Abuja was as a result of cardiac arrest.

There were reports that the CAF official, Joseph Kabungo, a Zambian, died as a result of the stampede caused by angry fans who invaded the stadium after the Nigerian Super Eagles failed to qualify for the 2022 World Cup.

However, NFF General Secretary Mohammed Sanusi in a condolence message sent to Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), CAF and the Zambian Government on Wednesday, explained that Kabungo died as a result of cardiac arrest.

The NFF noted that it was important to set the records straight, even though it was hurt and shocked at the development.

“According to the information from our own medical officer, Dr Onimisi Ozi Salami who was appointed by FIFA as Medical Officer for the game, Dr Kabungo was found gasping for breath near the dressing room of the Ghanaian team,” Sanusi said in the statement.

He added that when he was notified about Kabungo’s condition, he immediately directed that he should be taken to the hospital.

Explaining further, Salami said the incident happened when he and Kabungo wanted to conduct doping tests on players after the match.

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Salami said, “I was heading to the dressing room of the Nigerian team when the General Coordinator, Kabore Hubert Bosilong from South Africa called my attention. Dr Kabungo suddenly started gasping for breath.

“The FIFA Security Officer for the match, Mr Dixon Adol Okello from Uganda also witnessed the incident.

“We tried to resuscitate him there and then, but when this did not appear to be working, we put him in an ambulance and rushed him to Cedar Crest Hospital in Apo, where he gave up the ghost.

“It is a very sad incident and one is shocked that some persons have been putting a terrible slant to the whole thing by saying he was beaten up by fans. That is a lie. He died as a result of sudden cardiac arrest.”

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