Chineme Martins, a defender with Nasarawa United, has died after slumping during a Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) clash with Katsina United in Lafia, on Sunday.
Martins, a former FC IfeanyiUbah player, fell unconscious, unopposed, during the second half of the match.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the unfortunate incident was witnessed by Governor Abdullahi Sule; Secretary to the State Governor (SSG), Aliyu Tijani, and other top government functionaries.
Speaking to newsmen on the development, Sule expressed sadness and sympathised with the family and friends of the deceased.
He said government would do everything to support the family.
The League Management Company (LMC) also commented on the death.
A statement by the LMC said the player was attended to by medics of the two clubs when he slumped and was later rushed to Dalhatu- Araf Specialist Hospital in Lafia where he was later pronounced dead.
Nasarawa United won the Matchday 23 tie but players and officials of the club were left devasted at the news of Martins’ death.
“It’s terrible. We’re all in shock,” club spokesman, Eche Amos, said.
“He was hale and hearty, hence his selection for the match.”
Chairman of LMC, Shehu Dikko, said the league regrets the passing of the young man in his prime.
“We commiserate with Nasarawa United and the immediate family of the late player,” Mr. Dikko said.
The LMC said it expects that there would be a standard autopsy to establish the cause of the player’s death.
“It is hoped that the findings of the autopsy would inform subsequent measures, if any, that has not been addressed by the existing standard procedure,” Dikko added.
The LMC said it will engage the player’s club and immediate family to offer support.