Tragedy Strikes: Referee Dies in Thunder Strike During Football Match in Niger State

What was meant to be a friendly football match in Madalla town, Niger State, turned into a scene of mourning when a referee met a sudden and tragic end after being struck by lightning. The referee, known among football fans as Mustafa Coach 02 and reportedly a member of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFA), lost his life during the match held at the primary and secondary schools’ field in the community.

According to an eyewitness named Muhammed Musa, the incident occurred on Tuesday evening during the half-time break of the match, which involved youths from Suleja and Madalla. At around 5:20 pm, as rain poured down, both players and fans sought shelter inside the classrooms of the school. However, the referee and his assistant, the line man, quickly returned to the field, urging the players to join them.

Tragically, as they gathered at the center of the pitch, a sudden thunder strike hit them. The impact was devastating. Both officials were rushed to a nearby hospital, but the outcome was grim. Sulaiman, the referee, was declared dead on arrival, while his assistant was revived and able to receive medical attention.

The news of Sulaiman’s untimely demise sent shockwaves through his family and the local community. Speaking on behalf of the family, Ibrahim, a relative of the deceased, revealed that Sulaiman’s funeral took place in Suleja town, where he resided, on Wednesday morning.

The tragic incident serves as a stark reminder of the unpredictable and dangerous nature of thunderstorms, even in seemingly harmless situations. The football community mourns the loss of a dedicated referee who met his untimely end while doing what he loved. May Sulaiman’s soul rest in peace, and may this unfortunate event prompt increased awareness and safety measures to protect both players and officials during adverse weather conditions.

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