There’s been a trail of reactions following the death of Nassarawa United’s Chineme Martins who slumped and later died during a Nigeria Professional Football League matchday 23 encounter against Katsina United at the Lafia Stadium on Sunday.
Minutes after Nassarawa United took the lead against the visitors, Chineme collapsed on the turf while standing alone.
Videos of the incident shared widely online show amateurish attempts at resuscitating the player.
How can we call this @LMCNPFL a professional league….when things are not done professionally?
Who curse us like this… pic.twitter.com/AaSP7Ll14J
— Kelechi 'cane da guardia' Nkoro (@K1Says) March 8, 2020
Efforts to revive Martins proved abortive and when the designated ambulance failed to start, a bus belonging to the Press Crew was used to convey the defender to a hospital for proper medical attention.
@LMCNPFL Sad day for the NPFL and Nigerian. Martins slumped & the ambulance had to be pushed for more than 75% the length of the pitch. Mind you, this was no real ambulance, it just a utility vehicle with a siren on top of it. This all happened in front of the Governor of Nas st.
— Shola Ogunyemi (@sholly555) March 8, 2020
Nassarawa United went on to win 3-0 but the players were inconsolable at the end of the game.
SAD DAY 😞😭!!
– Chieme Martins of Nassarawa United has died after a collision with a Katsina Utd player earlier today in the NPFL.
– Nassarawa United Players Crying 😭!
– Player was rushed to the hospital and died there.pic.twitter.com/fPaCp0ysIv
— Laba Laba Master 🦋🦋🦋 (@Buchi_Laba) March 8, 2020
— League Management NG (@LMCNPFL) March 8, 2020
Nigerians have been on a rampage across several social media platforms (including Twitter) since the death was confirmed.
See 'well-eqiuped' ambulance Nasarawa United offered their defender when he slumped.
• Some people have to pay for his avoidable death
• Let's shut the League, if we can't run it professionally
• No functioning ambulance, no adequate first aid, what's professional in NPFL? pic.twitter.com/0fRiWpclhJ
— FAST TRACK (@FastTrackNaija) March 8, 2020
Fans are agitating that the League be shut down for a while.
Shut down the damn league if you aren’t ready do do the basic things instead of costing young people their lives! What kind of foolishness is this. Some people should be dragged to court & locked up for their negligence. This isn’t loss of money or reputation, it’s a life gone!😡 https://t.co/Jf6FSx0opW
— SYLVIA (@Sylvia_Ikeji) March 8, 2020
Stop the NPFL, its a waste of time miney and lives. I have attended matches and now i have promised my self never to watch an NPFL game again unturned certain things are put in place. https://t.co/F4V9yNaQnJ
— Bello Zech (@EdoPrince21) March 8, 2020
— SPORTING RAVE (@Asiwaju_segz) March 8, 2020
— Adekunle ridhwan (@Ayenyafc) March 8, 2020
On what was a black day for the league, reports also emerged of two other NPFL games which were marked by violence.
Adamawa United Vs Warri Wolves got disrupted and consequently abandoned after the visitors grabbed the opener.
Match officials attacked in Gombe this evening.
Adamawa United vs Warri Wolves was disrupted with the visitors leading 1-0.
— Adepoju Tobi Samuel (@OgaNlaMedia) March 8, 2020
Meanwhile, Wikki Tourists fans held Plateau United players and fans hostage after losing by a goal to Abdu Maikaba’s boys at full-time.
— DatAkwaIbomBoy😄 (@IdiongoJim) March 8, 2020
Emerging reports claim two died in the process. However, the LMC or both clubs are yet to verify such report.
A bloody fight claimed over 2 lives today at Wunti Stadium, Bauchi following a 1-0 win over the state based club and host, Wikki Tourist by their rivals Plateau United.
The same fight was in Katsina weeks ago.
Where are we heading to? The people we are close to?
— M S Ingawa (@MSIngawa) March 8, 2020