GHANA vs NIGERIA: FIFA MEDICAL OFFICER DIES CHAOS IN ABUJA
Zambian doctor Joseph Kabungo was on duty at the match, which ended in chaos with fans rioting at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium. The Zambian FA has warned people not to speculate about the cause of his death, with the Nigerian Football Federation trying to separate the two incidents, suggesting he died from a cardiac arrest having been seen “gasping for breath”.
The Zambian FA has confirmed FIFA medical official Joseph Kabungo died while on duty at the World Cup qualifier between Ghana and Nigeria.
The CAF anti-doping officer was working at the match, which ended in a 1-1 draw that confirmed Ghana’s place at the World Cup in Qatar later this year.
Kabungo was a permanent fixture at major footballing events, with the Zambian attending the recent FIFA Arab Cup in Qatar and the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.
His cause of death is yet to be confirmed, and the Zambian FA has warned people against speculating after ugly scenes marred the end of the game, with Nigerian fans rioting before storming the pitch and attacking players from both sides, as well as causing significant damage to the Moshood Abiola National Stadium.
The organisation said, “We take note that it is too early to dwell into the nitty-gritty of the cause of his death but will wait for the full report from CAF and FIFA on what exactly transpired”.
The Nigerian Football Federation, who could face sanctions for the post-match chaos, have tried to separate the two incidents.
In a statement to GOAL, the Federation said, “he died as a result of sudden cardiac arrest”, having been “found gasping for breath near the dressing room of the Ghanaian team”.
Zambian FA President Andrew Kamanga has paid tribute to Kabungo, calling him a “dedicated and widely loved member of our football community”.
HIS IMPACT WAS VAST.
Kabungo was a key member of support staff for Zambia when they won the Africa Cup of Nations in 2012, and Kamanga says he has been an important part of football in the country for many years.
“His death is a huge loss as Dr Kabungo was a friend and confidant to many generations of players and their families”, he said.
“He was one of the outstanding Zambian football personalities that flew the Zambian flag at global football events.”
Kamanga thinks Kabungo leaves behind an important legacy, saying, “We all have to learn from his example of excellence and celebrate his legacy by breeding more hard working football Zambian administrators”.
Kalusha Bwalya – who was the African Footballer of the Year in 1988 – also paid tribute to Kabungo, tweeting to say he was honoured to know such a “committed spirit of a man”.