Tragedy struck Nigerian football yesterday when a player, Niyi Lawal, slumped and died during a tournament in Odogbolu Local Government Area of Ogun State.
The unfortunate incident happened during the ongoing Remmy Hazzan Unity Cup, organised among the 15 wards in the local government at Odogbolu Comprehensive High School, Odogbolu.
Lawal, a player of Wonder Star Football Club, representing Ward 11, was playing in the quarter final match against Ward 2, represented by Timosteve Football Club, when he suddenly slumped and was quickly rushed to Dideolu Specialist Hospital in Ikenne, where he was confirmed dead.
The Coordinator of the competition, Comrade Tunde Adamson told P.M.Sports that the death of Lawal came as a rude shock, saying that they tried all they could to save his life yesterday.
“The boy’s death was a pathetic one, no one could ever think of such tragedy. The boy just slumped on the pitch without having contact with anybody. We rushed him to the hospital where we were told that he had died. We were not satisfied with the doctor’s statement, we had to take him again to OLabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, OOUTH, Sagamu where we were told the same thing.
“We have officially reported the death at the Odogbolu Police Station.”
P.M.Sports’ finding revealed that the corpse of the late Lawal has been deposited at the Shensy Mortuary, a private morgue located at Oke Owa area of the local government.
The team’s coach, popularly called Osupa, disclosed that Lawal was in good health before the match.
“I don’t believe that Niyi is dead. The boy gave no sign of any sickness. He just slumped and died like that,” he said amidst tears.
The deceased, 26, who was living at a house opposite Conoil Filling Station in Oke Owa, according to investigation, hailed from Ibadan in Oyo State. He left behind parents, wife, Moyosoluwa and two children; Mayowa and a three-year old baby.
As at the time of filing this report, efforts were in top gear to send some elders to inform his wife, who had been deceived that her husband travelled for a football match outside the town.