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A Zambian medical officer of the Confederation of African Football Tuesday died following ugly scenes of chaos during the second leg of the World Cup play-off between Ghana and Nigeria.
Dr Joseph Kabungo was on duty as a doping officer in Abuja when he collapsed and died at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium after Ghana held their arch-rivals to a 1-1 draw, progressing to the 2022 World Cup on the away goals rule.
News of his death was posted by British-Nigerian journalist Osasu Obayiuwana on Twitter.
The cause of death has not been confirmed yet.
However, some reports suggest Dr Kabungo was attacked by angry Nigerian fans who invaded the stadium after Ghana denied them qualification to the World Cup.
Ghanaian broadcast journalist Collins Atta Poku said he lost consciousness during the attack. He was rushed to a hospital where doctors pronounced him dead.
The Zambia Football Federation has confirmed the passing of Joseph Kabungo but warned against speculating on the cause of his death.
Zambia FA President Andrew Kamanga described his death as a “huge loss”.
“Today [Wednesday] 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,” Kamanga explained.
“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.
“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.
“Dr Kabungo was a permanent fixture at football events including the Fifa Arab Cup in Qatar which is a precursor for the 2022 World Cup. He was also part of the medical team during Cameroon 2021 [played in 2022] Africa Cup of Nations.
“He was one of the outstanding Zambian football personalities that flew the Zambian flag at global football events. We all have to learn from his example of excellence and celebrate his legacy by breeding more hard-working football Zambian administrators.”