The investigative committee into reasons behind the death of Nasarawa United of Lafia player, Chineme Martins was able to complete its assignment before the partial lockdown across the country, on account of the ongoing coronavirus scourge, but they will not be able to submit their report as scheduled this Thursday, megasportsarena.com reports.
This is the down-to-earth revelation of the committee’s chairman, Dr. Peter Singabele, who said directives of the Federal Government on containing coronavirus across the country with stay at home directives has altered their plan of submitting the report this week to minister for sports, Sunday Akinlabi Dare.
He admitted that the panel was expected to submit the report on Thursday, 26th March, 2020 to the minister in Abuja, under guidance of top shots of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), but Singabelle went on to assure followers of the game in the country that their findings and recommendations would be submitted as soon as the current health challenge is under control.
The former NFF executive committee member and erstwhile medical officer in Confederation of African Football (CAF) admitted that the panel could not make some of the earmarked on the spot checks as previously planned, due to current issues around COVID-19.
Nonetheless, while pointing out that added that if the committee faced a stiff challenge in terms of logistics and the members took a lot of risks in moving around during the early days of COVID-19 outbreak, in which they interacted with people from different settings and varying backgrounds, Singabelle disclosed that their change in plan has been approved by the NFF.
Singabele added: “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.
“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 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. We just have to observe preventive measures by returning to our homes and continuing to work from there.”