A referee, Mustapha Bello, died on Tuesday after being struck by lightning during a friendly football match played in the community’s primary and secondary schools’ field in Madalla town, Niger State.
A Facebook user, Awwal Yarima who shared the news said, “Innalillahi wa innan ilaihi rain!!! 😭😭😭. We lost one of us in Referees in Suleja Also my Coach in Referees. Mallam. Mustapha Bello Grade one referee. May his soul rest in Jannat ul Firdausi. Ameen.”
An eyewitness, Muhammed Musa, confirming the incident to Daily Trust on Wednesday, said the match in which Suleja and Madalla youths participated, was on a half-time break around 5:20 pm when the incident happened.
“It was raining and all the footballers along with their fans were taking refuge inside the school’s classrooms. The referee along with his assistant (lineman) rushed back to the field, demanding the players to join them.
“They were only at the centre of the pitch when the thunder struck. Two of them were rushed to a hospital, where the referee was confirmed dead on arrival while his assistant was revived,” he said.