FIFA/CAF medical officer Joseph Kabungo who passed on after the 2022 FIFA World Cup playoff match between Nigeria and Ghana on Tuesday night died of cardiac arrest, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) said on Wednesday.
Kabungo, the doping control officer at the match, died on his way to the hospital from the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja.
NFF general secretary Mohammed Sanusi in a statement expressed shock and sorrow over the incident.
“We are terribly shocked at this sad development. The NFF commiserates with world football governing–body FIFA, the Confederation of African Football (CAF), the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) 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,” the statement said.
Sanusi noted that according to the NFF medical officer Onimisi Salami, Kabungo 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. But he didn’t make it. He died just as they got to the hospital,” the NFF scribe said.
He added that Kabungo was rushed to Cedar Crest Hospital in Apo where he died.
“It is a very sad incident and one is shocked that some persons have been putting a terrible slant to the whole thing by saying he was beaten up by fans. That is a lie. He died as a result of sudden cardiac arrest,” Sanusi said.
The statement was silent on the invasion of the pitch by angry fans.