10 December 2018

Kenya: Shock as Lightning Strikes Footballer to Death in Funyula

A football match in Luchululo village in Nangina ward, Funyula Constituency turned tragic on Sunday after lightning struck to death one player and left at least six others injured.

The victim who succumbed to the strike was 20-year-old Allan Mbote who was celebrating his team's (Red Sharks) equaliser against arch-rivals Reybentos during the launch of the Nangina Ward Soccer tournament at Luchululo Primary School grounds.

Mbote, a defender, was also a second year student at Kenyatta University.

While confirming the incident, Funyula OCPD Mary Kiarie said three players are recuperating at Nangina Mission Hospital under close examination while three others have been treated and discharged.

"The unfortunate incident happened when they were playing football in one of the tournaments organised by area MCA John Obwogo. One player identified as Allan Mbote died on the spot while three others were rushed to Nangina Hospital," she said in a phone interview.

The incident happened just a day after lightning struck Kakapel Village in Teso North Sub County on Saturday evening killing three members of one family and injuring three others.

Red Sharks, who are the defending champions of the tournament, were trailing 1-0 at half time during the encounter that was marred by intermittent rains.

When the match resumed after the rains had subsided, Red Sharks levelled before tragedy struck.

Red Sharks players raced towards the corner flag in celebration but within a split second lightning struck claiming Mbote's life. His six teammates were rushed to the nearby Nangina Holy Family Mission Hospital.

Obwogo has called for calm saying the tournament, whose final is scheduled for December 24, will continue adding that all matches will be moved to Funyula Stadium.

"Lightning strikes in recent days across the county are a cause for worry. I will push my colleagues in the other 34 wards across the county to set aside funds for installation of lightning arrestors in learning institutions in their wards," he said.

The two teams clashed in the final of last year's edition held in December with Red Sharks hammering their rivals 5-0 to lift the Cup at Funyula Sports grounds.

Red Sharks were also awarded a trophy, a set of uniform and Sh110,000 while runners-up Raybentos went home with a trophy, playing kit and Sh80,000.

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