NIGERIAN footballer Chineme Martins has died after collapsing on the pitch on Sunday.
The 22-year-old was taken to hospital in Lafia but was later pronounced dead.
According to the BBC, there was a problem with the ambulance transporting the player which delayed the journey to Dalhatu-Araf Specialist Hospital.
Martins fell unconscious despite no one being around him during his Nasarawa United side's 3-0 win over Katsina United.
An autopsy to determine the cause of death is being carried out.
Martins made four appearances for his club this season.
Chairman of the League Management Company (LMC), Shenu Dikko, paid his respects to the footballer.
And Nigeria's sports minister, Sunday Dare, said the death "was sad but avoidable" – and now there are calls to ensure all medical facilities are properly checked before matches can start.
He said: "The death of Nasarawa Utd FC defender Chineme Martins who slumped during NPFL’s Match is sad but regrettably avoidable.
"While registering my condolences with team/ family, Ministry will immediately work with NPFL to role out mandatory conditions before any match is played."
The Nigerian FA tweeted: "The NFF has in conjunction with the Ministry of Sports engaged the LMC and reviewed the situation.
"As an immediate first step, the NFF has directed that no further match be played except there is a full complement of the medical equipment and personnel as provided in the NFF Club Licensing Regulations.
"All Match Commissioners and the host FA are to ensure they inspect all the facilities including carrying out test runs before giving go-ahead for any match to be played."
This tragedy is not the first one witnessed by fans in Lafia.
In December 2018, Kano Pillars star Dominic Dukudod collapsed during a warm-up for a game against Nasarawa United.
The LMC insist all players must present a medical passport, signed and authorised by a certified doctor, to declare they are fit to play.
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