President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Mr Amaju Melvin Pinnick yesterday praised the efforts of the Federation’s Adhoc Committee on Safety and Security, set up to unravel the circumstances surrounding the unfortunate death of Nasarawa United player, Chineme Martins during an NPFL game in Lafia on 8th March 2020, and to recommend stronger safety, security and medical protocols for matches within the country.
At the virtual presentation on Thursday, Chairman of the committee, Dr Peter Singabele (a former member of the NFF Executive Committee and presently Member of the CAF Committee on Sports Medicine), enunciated the committee’s key findings, submissions and recommendations at both the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City and the Lafia City Stadium where it visited, as well as short-term, medium-term and long-term recommendations to forestall such heartbreaking incident in the future.
In his response, Pinnick was categorical that the country’s supreme football governing body would study the nitty-gritty of the committee’s recommendations with a view to implementing all.
“I want to give kudos to the Chairman and Members of this committee for the thorough job they have done. I am not surprised because we brought together perhaps the best team possible in the land for such an assignment.
‘’Your job was made more arduous given that it was at a time of the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, and at a time, it was only your committee that was doing any work in football. Yet, you never wavered in painstakingly attending to every detail of the assignment.”
The NFF boss said that the Federation would convey the full report, after it must have been signed by the members and at the resumption of football activities in the country, to the Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports Development, Mr Sunday Dare.
He also assured that the NFF will compel all the relevant organs concerned with security, safety and medical protocols at domestic matches to up their game while insisting that any club that fails to comply one hundred per cent with the requirements of the Club Licensing regulations will 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.