CAF official Dr Joseph Kabungo has died following Nigeria’s match against Ghana on Tuesday evening. The two African teams were competing in the second leg of their World Cup play-off in Abuja.
Ghana booked their place at the 2022 World Cup with Thomas Partey’s goal in the opening 10 minutes enough to win the tie on away goals. But the match was marred by scenes after the final whistle with fans storming onto the pitch and causing chaos.
Home fans rushed onto the pitch in their hundreds with dugouts ripped from the ground and missiles being launched at players from both sides. Police tried to contain the angry crowd with tear gas used to try and disperse them as both sets of players tried to escape down the tunnel.
And it’s now been confirmed that Dr Kabungo, who was CAF’s Doping Officer for the match, has lost his life after the scenes in the Abuja National Stadium.
Zambia FA president Andrew Kamanga said in a statement: “Today we mourn the passing of our CAF/FIFA medical officer Dr Joseph Kabungo who was on duty as a Doping officer in Tuesday’s match involving Nigeria and Ghana, and we extend our sincere condolences to Dr Kabungo’s family and the football family at large.
“We take note that it is too early to dwell into the nitty-gritty of the cause of his death but will wait for the full report from CAF and FIFA on what exactly transpired.
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“He was a dedicated and widely loved member of our football community and his impact was vast, having also been part of the 2012 Africa Cup winning team. His death is a huge loss as Dr Kabungo was a friend and confidant to many generations of players and their families.”
The World Cup play-off tie was finely poised after a 0-0 draw between the two sides last Friday. And it was Ghana who got off to the perfect start in Abuja with Arsenal’s Partey scoring the opening goal.
Nigeria were level shortly after with William Troost-Ekong scoring from the penalty spot. But the Super Eagles were unable to find a second goal with Ghana progressing to the 2022 World Cup on away goals.