The Nigeria Football Referees Association (NRA) family was thrown into a mourning mood on Wednesday as tragedy struck the fraternity following the death of a member, Osita Nwadashi who slumped and died, while undergoing the 2013 National fitness test in Abuja.
Nwadashi alongside his colleagues from South-west zone were about completing the mandatory running exercise, when he stepped aside and signaled the medical personnel for attention, but the efforts made to revive him however were in vain.
He was taken by Ambulance with registration no FG 148 A 27, belonging to the National Sports Commission (NSC) to the near-by National Hospital where he was confirmed dead.
Reacting to the situation, the President of the Nigeria Referees Association (NRA), Ahmed Maude and Chairman of Lagos State Referee Council, Tade Azeez confirmed the death of the referee to the media.
According to an obviously traumatized Maude: “It was quite unfortunate. He has been certified dead by the medical personnel.”
Absorbing the NRA of any complicity, Azeez insisted that his death was not lapses on the part of the association, stressing: “We had the best of everything. The medical personnel are from NSC. All of them pass medical test before we allow them to participate in the exercise. If the family are interested in doing autopsy on him we cannot stop them. It was a very sad day for me in particular and an unfortunate situation.”
One of the referee, who would not want his name in print said that the weather was not favourable as the scorching Abuja sun might have contributed to his death.
“It’s really sad that Nwadashi is no more. He left his home fit and healthy and now his dead. Everyone knows that the Fitness test is very strenuous, but all the same no one expected this to happen,” he lamented.
The remains of the deceased has since been deposited at the mortuary of the Jabi Medical Hospital in Abuja while NRA is making effort to contact his relatives.
In 2010, two referees Oyetola Olatunde from Oyo State and Faloye Mathew from Ogun State slumped and died during the same exercise at the same venue.