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Caf doping official Kabungo dies after Ghana deny Nigeria World Cup ticket

Zambia Football Federation has confirmed the passing of Confederation of Africa Football’s medical official Joseph Kabungo during the 2022 World Cup play-off fixture between Nigeria and Ghana on Tuesday.

The two West African giants went head to head in the return battle and it was the Black Stars who progressed on the away goals rule after managing a 1-1 draw at MKO Abiola National Stadium in Abuja.

Zambia FA President Andrew Kamanga has confirmed the incident, involving Kabungo who was on duty as a doping officer.

“The Football Association of Zambia joins the rest of the football family in mourning the late Dr Joseph Kabungo,” read part of the statement from Zambia FA. “Dr Kabungo, a Caf/Fifa medical officer was on duty in Abuja for the second leg, final qualifying match between Nigeria and Ghana that ended 1-1.”

Faz president Andrew Kamanga has eulogised Kabungo insisting the country had lost one of the game’s leading lights on the continent and beyond.

“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.”

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Football Federation disclosed Kabungo had died of cardiac arrest.

“We are terribly shocked at this sad development. The NFF commiserates with world football body Fifa, the Confederation of African Football, the Football Association of Zambia and the family of Dr Kabungo on his sudden passing,” general secretary Mohamed Sanusi was quoted in a statement made available to GOAL.

“His death pains us very much and we are in a state of deep shock. 

“However, it is important to state the facts as they are. According to the information from our own medical officer, Dr Onimisi Ozi Salami who was appointed by Fifa as medical officer for the game, Dr Kabungo was found gasping for breath near the dressing room of the Ghanaian team.”