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Meet the Nigerian Referee Who is Renowned For Saving the Lives of Footballers During Matches

By Olamide Oyetunji - The story of how German Referee Marco Fritz saved the life of former Golden Eaglets striker Taiwo Awoniyi in the German Bundesliga has been in the news since the incident took place.
Marco Fritz took all the risks in the world to put his fingers into the closing mouth Taiwo Awoniyi who suffered a scary concussion in the 16th minute of Mainz 05 versus Ausburg clash in the German top flight.
But this incident that many are talking about, similar cases has taken place in Nigeria with an indigenous Referee without so much publicity attached to it.
A certain Ruth Okafor is a FIFA badged female Referee who is very skilled in terms of safety procedures in relation to Footballers in danger on active duty.
Not many sports personalities understands what next to do when serious emergency situations occur which more often requires first aid attention.
Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) is a lifesaving technique useful in many emergencies, including a heart attack or near drowning, in which someone's breathing.
Ruth Okafor was hailed by female football enthusiasts for saving a player's life during a professional football game in 2018.
The referee who is a product of Lagos State Football Referee Council saved the life of a female player, Jennifer Osawaru, in the Nigeria Women Premier League encounter between Sure Babes FC of Ilorin and Edo Queens of Benin City, in a match played at the Kwara Sports Complex, Ilorin.
As a way to appreciate her effort, she was rewarded with a cash of N50,000 by the vice president of the Nigeria Football Federation, Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi, for her quick action and bravery.
Edo Queens player, Jennifer Osawaru used her head to block a shot and went unconscious and it was visibly down to Referee Ruth to act, she quickly kept Jennifer warm and kept her in the recovery position, while directing other frightened players away from the distressed scene.
The referee who is now 30-year-old from Lagos will also be recognised with a Special Award for Courage/Fair play by the organisers of the “Naija Women Football League Awards.”
The NFF Vice President said he was impressed with Ruth’s bravery and thought there was a need to reward her, so she can do more and be better with her job.
In an online discussion, Ruth Okafor who graduated from the Lagos State University (LASU) did the same thing in a Lagos State FA Cup tie between 36 Lions and Iganmu FC inside the Teslim Balogun Stadium on the 21st of May 2018.
Fast forward to 2019, Ruth Okafor was named the Referee of the Season at the Naija Women's Football League.

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