A horrifying scene unfolded at the end of Baroka FC 0-0 draw with Orlando Pirates when defender Paseka Mako was knocked out accidentally by his goalkeeper Richard Ofori’s knee.
The incident happened during an extended injury time of 11 additional minutes. This had come about because of a floodlight failure that had occurred some 20 minutes earlier, which led to a delay.
Ofori had come out to clear the ball with Pirates looking to press for the winner, when he collided with Mako as he jostled to get to the ball while a Baroka FC player was about to pounce on it.
The referee immediately blew the whistle, beckoning frantically to medical staff to get on to the pitch as quickly as possible. Players from both teams, staff on the side and the fans were left in shock at the sight that was unfolding before their eyes. The latter started getting angry when the ambulance inexplicably did not come onto the field, with confusion occurring on the sidelines.
As soon as Pirates medical staff as well as stadium paramedics started stabilising Mako, Pirates and Baroka players formed a human shield around him to preserve his dignity. A disconsolate Ofori had to be comforted by Pirates players and coaches, before he went back onto the field.
Once Mako was stabilised and taken off the pitch, those in the stadium applauded him as the ambulance made way to the nearest hospital. Pirates captain Happy Jele agreed with the referee that the game end 10 minutes earlier as his teammates were clearly not in the mental frame to continue with the match.
According to SuperSport’s presenter at the venue, Mako was diagnosed with a concussion. He will be kept in hospital under observation until further notice. There was also another a scene of drama some 20 minutes before the accident, when the lights at the Peter Mokaba Stadium went out in what was suspected to be loadshedding. After about 10 minutes, the lights came back on when the stadium’s generators kicked into gear.
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