By Oyediji Oluwaseun Babatunde
Sports Writer, kick442.com Nigeria
The directives of the Federal Government (FG) on the raging coronavirus outbreak has altered the work plan of the investigative panel set up by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) on the death of Nasarawa United FC player, Chineme Martins.
This was confirmed on the official website of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).
The panel was expected to submit its final report on Thursday, 26th March, 2020, to the Hon. Minister for Youth and Sports Development, Sunday Dare, in Abuja.
However, following the current trend of events arising from the CoronaVirus (Covid-19) scourge, the panel has temporarily suspended its activities, including submission of its final report.
This change in work plan has also been approved by the NFF leadership.
“Since the inauguration of this committee in Benin City on Monday, 16th March, members have been at work. We have inspected facilities in Benin City and Lafia, and spoken to personalities who were involved one way or the other in the organization of the match in which the player died. We have been able to extract useful information all round. Our plan was to submit the report to the Hon. Minister on Thursday, 26th March 2020.
“We returned from Lafia on Tuesday morning, but have had to change our plans because of the trend of events and the pronouncement by His Excellency Mr. President himself, as well as other directives by the Federal Government. We are forced to suspend our activities,” chairman of the committee, Dr. Peter Singabele said.
Singabele added that if the committee had a challenge in its job, it was the risk that members took to interact with people at this trying period in Nigeria.
“I won’t say strictly that there were challenges. If there was a challenge it was that we took a big risk moving around at this time. We were bound to hold meetings and meet people and we could not tell who was infected at any time.
“We just have to observe preventive measures by returning to our homes and continuing to work from there.”The panel also assured members of the football family its findings and recommendations would be submitted as soon as the current health challenge is under control.
On Sunday, March 8, 2020, Nasarawa United defender, Chieme Martins passed on after he slumped during the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) Match Day 23 fixture against Katsina United after a collision with his opponent player.
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