Ambulance driver blamed in death of Nigerian soccer player

Nigerian T-Team captain David Oniya collapsed on the pitch and later died. His squad said the first responders could have done more.

A Nigerian soccer player collapsed during a friendly at Sultan Mohd IV Stadium in Kota Baru on and died at the hospital, much to the anger of his team.

T-Team captain David Oniya, 30, suffered an apparent heart attack on the pitch on Saturday. According to the New Straits Times, the ambulance driver was watching the match in the stands when Oniya collapsed.

It took the driver several minutes to bring the ambulance out, but by that time Oniya was already unconscious.

Syahrizan Mohd Zain, the club's CEO, said the first responders could have prevented the death.

“He suffered a heart attack, but it could have been a different story had the ambulance driver [been] alert,” Zain told the Times.

“The driver was at the stands watching the game when Oniya suddenly collapsed, and our defender was deprived of oxygen for several minutes.”

Oniya was pronounced dead at the hospital. The match was called off in the 60th minute once news of his death spread.

He played professional soccer for more than 10 years, including tenures in Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan.