The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has expressed shock and sorrow over the death of FIFA/CAF Medical Officer, Dr. Joseph Kabungo. The doctor died on Tuesday after the FIFA World Cup playoff match between Nigeria and Ghana at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja.
The Nigerian Football Federation NFF said: “We are shocked at this sad development. The NFF commiserates with world football body FIFA, the Confederation of African Football, the Football Association of Zambia, and the family of Dr. Kabungo on his sudden passing. His death pains us very much and we are in a state of deep shock.”
CAF Official did not Die on the Pitch- NFF Reveals
The statement also says: “However, it is important to state the facts as they are. According to the information from our medical officer, Dr. Onimisi Ozi Salami who was appointed by FIFA as Medical Officer for the game, Dr. Kabongo was found gasping for breath near the dressing room of the Ghanaian team. I was notified and ordered that he should be rushed to the hospital. He didn’t make it. He died just as they got to the hospital.”
The message was passed by NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi. Dr. Ozi Salami said that the incident happened when he (Dr. Salami) was looking to get the Nigerian player for the doping exercise, while Dr. Kabungo was looking to get the Ghanaian player for the same exercise.
He 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.”
He said they tried to resuscitate him there 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 finally died. It is a pity as many have already started saying the Dr was beaten to death by the Abuja protesting fans. He died as a result of sudden cardiac arrest and was not beaten at all.
Officials of the NFF, the medical team, and officials of the High Commission of Zambia held a meeting on Wednesday morning to decide on the next line of action following the demise of Dr. Kabungo.