Abba Haruna Seto, an Adamawa United player, fainted shortly after his club’s away game last Sunday, but there was no doctor in the stadium as stipulated by the League Management Committee’s rules.
Seto passed out during his team’s match against Jigawa Stars in Kaduna.
Baba Ajuji, the team nurse who was at the stadium, told TheCable that the defender fainted as a result of “stress”.
“It was stress. We arrived like 3:30pm. Just 30 minutes to the game,” Ajuji said.
“We left Bauchi around 8:30 in the morning of the match for Kaduna and we arrived by 3:30pm. I am the team nurse and I was the one with the team that day.
“I have a sister in Kaduna who is a medical doctor. After he was revived, I took him to her for a check-up. And she said it was just stress.
“The Red Cross man that came to assist us in reviving him, I don’t know if he is a medical doctor or not. We just met him at the stadium. You know that sometimes when we go for matches, they always come to help us.”
Emmanuel Zira, chairman of Adamawa United, told TheCable that the club does not have a team doctor, but two nurses.
He said: “Well, I don’t know why the senior nurse did not travel with the team that day.”
Shedding light on the situation at his club, the Adamawa United chairman cited paucity of funds as the reason for the team’s late arrival in Kaduna for the match against Jigawa Stars.
“The money released by the government was never given to the team,” Zira told TheCable.
“It was the SSG that rescued them in going for the Jigawa match. The players told me that they were given N1,000 each for five days.
“I was shocked that the players will be given N1,000 for five days and surprised that at a time, the team even slept at a filling station for their home game.”
In the nine matches played so far in the 2020-21 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) season, Adamawa United have drawn two and lost seven.
WHAT THE RULE BOOK SAYS
The 2019/2020 NPFL framework for the league states that the attendance of medical personnel and provisions of medical facilities at every match are compulsory.
According to section 12 of the framework: “Each participating club shall procure the attendance of its team doctor and home club shall procure the attendance of its crowd doctor. The home club’s team doctor and crowd doctor shall be available throughout and for a reasonable time before and after the match.”
Another portion of the section says “no person other than a participating club’s team doctor, therapist (who shall be qualified as required by Rule 12.4) or the paramedics referred to in Rule 12.7.4 shall be permitted to treat players or match officials on the field of play”.
Clubs in the Nigerian football leagues were mandated to enforce these rules following the death of Chieneme Martins, a Nasarawa United player, in 2020.
The stadium ambulance failed to start when Martins slumped during a game in Lafia. He died right there on the pitch.