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Nasarawa fined N10m, Lafia stadium banned over Martins’ death

Nigeria Professional Football League side, Nasarawa United, have been fined N10m by the ad-hoc committee set up by the Nigeria Football Federation to investigate the death of the club’s defender Chineme Martins.

Martins slumped and died in Nasarawa United’s NPFL match against Katsina United at the Lafia Township Stadium on March 8.

The committee’s chairman, Dr. Peter Singabele, submitted its report to the NFF in a virtual meeting on Thursday.

In a statement by the NFF’s Communications Department, Nasarawa Football Association was banned from hosting football matches, while the club was also directed to pay all Martins’ financial entitlements.

“The Nasarawa FA should be temporarily suspended from hosting all NFF-organised matches (including domestic league matches) until some clearly stated conditions are met. The player must be immortalised. Nasarawa United should pay a fine of N10m to the LMC for non-compliance with Club Licensing Regulations and violation of NPFL Framework and Rules, and should pay all financial entitlements of the late Martins immediately, including arrears of salaries and insurance benefits, if any.

“The NFF should empower its Medical Committee, Technical Committee, Club Licensing Department and the LMC to exercise fully their statutory powers and functions,” Singabele said.

The committee said Nasarawa United didn’t have a medical doctor or a physiotherapist, with the club’s medical team headed by a retired community health assistant.

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They recommended that all clubs should have a minimum of one qualified medical officer and a physiotherapist; all players must undergo mandatory PCMA in line with CAF and FIFA standards; clubs must keep adequate medical records of players and officials, as well as a mandatory pre-season basic medical screening.

In his reaction, NFF president Amaju Pinnick said any club that failed to adhere to the directives would be barred from competing in the league.

“If at the end of the day, we have to scale down to playing league matches in only a few stadia that can provide functional ambulances and qualified medical personnel with capable referral hospitals, so be it,” Pinnick said.

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