Doctors at the ELWA Hospital in Paynesville say Liberian Referee LackieMassaquoi died of heart failure.According to the Vice President for Operation at the Liberia Football Association (LFA) Mr. Wilmot Smith, the fallen referee collapsed on the track during a physical fitness test Saturday, 30 March at the S.K.D. Sports Complex in Paynesville.
Mr. Massaquoi was pronounced dead on arrival by the Doctor on duty at the hospital, and the body has been taken to the Green Pasture Funeral Home in Margibi County.
Following the incident, LFA Vice President Mr. Smith narrates that the fitness test was administered for referees who did not make a pass during the February 16 test.
He discloses that the fitness test was recommended by world football to be administered every year to know the level of fitness of referees.
As mandated by FIFA, he says all association referees must run the 40×6 meter and the high intensity run 10 laps or 4800 meters and make a pass.According to Mr. Smith, this is the kind of test administered for the past ten (10) or more years since the fitness test was introduced by FIFA.
He details that before the commencement of the test at S.K.D. on Saturday, medics conducted the blood pressure (BP) of all participants as they usually do whenever they are administering fitness tests.
Before the test, Mr. Smith says Referee Massaquoi’s BP was 120/ 80. He says the medical people had said the deceased’s BP was normal for him to run.
Referees who participated in the fitness test came from four counties including Montserrado, Bassa, Nimba and Margibi Counties, respectively.
He describes Massaquoi as a dedicated class “B” member of the Liberia Football Referee Association who attended two different fitness courses, including a FIFA- sponsored course which he passed.Mr. Smith however says it was surprising for Mr. Massaquoi to fail the fitness test at SKD.
He indicates that heart failure is something that is seen everyday around the world in football and other sports, but the first time to happen in LFA.
The late Massaquoi was a senior student at the University of Liberia, studying Mathematics as major and Economics as minor.
The football house understands he had two kids —a boy and a girl.
By Sally Gaye –Edited by Winston W. Parley