World Cup Qualifiers: Football official dies after Nigeria, Ghana match

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The catastrophe that befell Nigerian football Tuesday evening after the Super Eagles forced the Black Stars of Ghana to a 1-1 draw in the 2022 World Cup qualifier playoff did not just end after Tunisian referee Selma Selik blew the final whistle at the MKO Abiola Stadium.

After the pitch invasion by irate fans and the subsequent attacks on Nigeria football officials, it was revealed that the doping officer for the game, Joseph Kabungo from Zambia, suddenly collapsed and died.

The cause of death is yet to be ascertained and there has been no official statement from the NFF.

After playing 0-0 with Ghana on Friday in Kumasi, the Super Eagles hosted the Black Stars in the return match in Abuja in what turned out a lacklustre outing by the Nigerian team.

The Black Stars qualified for the 2022 World Cup to be hosted by Qatar on the away goal rule at the expense of the Super Eagles who are individually talented but uninspiring as a team.

After the referee blew the final whistle, irate fans invaded the pitch leading to a breakdown of security at the stadium. It is unclear at this time if the incident is related to the tragedy involving Mr Kabungo.

Nigerian sports journalist, Osazu Obayuwana, who posted the news of the incident on Twitter Tuesday night, said “Dr Kabungo collapsed suddenly and died. Cause of death not confirmed yet. His family, the Zambia FA and the government of Zambia have been duly informed.”

Mr Obayuwana added that “If the death of the Zambian was caused by the invasion of the pitch by fans, the Nigerian Football Federation would be in trouble with FIFA.”

Meanwhile, the Zambian football association has issued a statement mourning the departed football official.

The statement reads, “The Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) joins the rest of the football family in mourning the late Dr Joseph Kabungo. Dr Kabungo, a CAF/FIFA medical officer was on duty in Abuja for the second leg, final qualifying match between Nigeria and Ghana that ended 1-1.

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