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Nigeria vs Ghana: CAF Doctor dies at Abuja Stadium

Late Joseph Kabungo

There are controversies surrounding the death of a CAF/FIFA Medical Officer, Joseph Kabungo, who was in Nigeria for the second-leg World Cup playoff between Nigeria and Ghana in Abuja on Tuesday.

While some accounts said the Zambian doctor slumped and died while carrying out doping tests on the players, others said he was beaten to death in a stampede that ensued after the match.

Announcing the death of the football official via her verified Twitter page, Usher Komugisha, an award-winning African football journalist that has featured on Al Jazeera, BBC, CNN, ESPN, SuperSport & Sky Sports, tweeted, “Really sad that Zambian doctor Joseph Kabungo who was working as the CAF/FIFA Medical Officer at the Nigeria v Ghana game in Abuja yesterday was beaten by fans until he lost his consciousness. There were efforts to save his life but he didn’t make it. May his soul rest in peace.”

Further giving an insight into the death of Kabungo, she quoted an eye-witness saying, “However, another onlooker to Dr Joseph Kabungo’s resuscitation yesterday says that he was complaining of being unwell since morning. He called both the Nigerian and Ghanaian players for doping tests but collapsed right in front of the Ghanaian dressing room. It is unfortunate.”

British-Nigerian journalist, Osasu Obayiuwana, while giving an account of the incident via his verified Twitter handle wrote, ” His name is Dr Joseph Kabungo from Zambia. He was on duty as doping officer. He collapsed suddenly and died. Cause of death not confirmed yet. His family, the Zambia FA and the government of Zambia have been duly informed.”

He further opined that if the death of the doctor was caused by an attack from irate Nigerian supporters for missing the chance to play at the Qatar 2022 World Cup, the Nigerian football body will be in trouble.

Obayiuwana said, “If the death of Zanbian doctor Dr Joseph Kabungo at the Abuja stadium was caused by being attacked by the Nigerian fans who invaded the pitch, after the @NGSuperEagles lost the @FIFAWorldCup ticket to @GhanaBlackstars, @thenff would be in terrible trouble with @FIFAcom.”

However, the Nigeria Football Federation said, on Wednesday, that Kabungo died of cardiac arrest.

Kabungo was said to be CAF’s doping control officer for the second leg of the qualification match between the West African rivals for the 2022 World Cup finals in Qatar.