Following the Super Eagles of Nigeria loss to the Black Star of Ghana at the World Cup qualifier match on Tuesday, the MKO Abiola stadium in Abuja went berserk as fans of the Nigerian team went on rampage destroying public amenities.
The situation which went beyond control after the 1-1 draw at the Abuja stadium, recorded the loss of life of a Zambian doctor Joseph Kabungo who was working as the CAF/FIFA Medical Officer during the match in Abuja.
While some sources said Dr. Kabungo suddenly collapsed and died while trying to resuscitate him, another account argued that the CAF/FIFA Medical Officer was “beaten by fans until he lost his consciousness” with an additional report that, “There were efforts to save his life but he didn’t make it.”
The football pitch invasion started when Tunisian referee Selma Selik blew the final whistle, which went in favour of Ghana.
A Nigerian sports journalist, Osazu Obayuwana, who posted the Tuesday incident on his Twitter page said, “If the death of the Zambian doctor was caused by the invasion of the pitch by fans, the Nigerian Football Federation would be in trouble with FIFA.”
It has however been reported on Wednesday by some news media that, FIFA has sanctioned Nigeria accordingly as a result of the unfortunate incident that claimed an official’s life.
Dr. Joseph Kabungo
Similarly, the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) in a statement, joined the rest of the football family to mourn the late Dr. Joseph Kabungo who met his death while on duty at the MKO stadium in Abuja, Nigeria, for the second leg of the final qualifying match between Nigeria and Ghana.
President of FAZ, Andrew Kamanga, said, Zambia had “lost one of the game’s leading lights on the continent and beyond.”
The statement issued by FAZ reads:
“Today we mourn the passing of our CAF/FIFA medical officer, Dr. Joseph Kabungo who was on duty as a doping officer in the Tuesday’s match involving Nigeria and Ghana.”
“We extend our sincere condolences to Dr. Kabungo’s family and the football family at large.”
“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.”
“Dr. Joseph Kabungo was a dedicated and widely loved member of our football community, and his impact was vast, having also been part of the 2012 Africa Cup winning team. His death is a huge loss as he was a friend and confidant to many generations of players and their families.”
“Dr. Kabungo was a permanent fixture at football events, including the FIFA Arab Cup in Qatar, which is a precursor for the 2022 World Cup.”
“He was also part of the medical team during the Cameroon 2021 (played in 2022) Africa Cup of Nations.”
“Dr. Kabungo was one of the outstanding Zambian football personalities that flew the Zambian flag at global football events. We all have to learn from his example of excellence and celebrate his legacy by breeding more hard working football Zambian administrators.”
May Dr. Joseph Kabungo Rest In Peace.