The event involving Danish player, Christian Eriksen, who fell on the field while playing against Finland in Euro 2020, brings to mind previous incidents involving African sportsmen or those with African heritage. Footballers like Fabrice Muamba, who, like Eriksen, was fortunate enough to survive after collapsing, are examples of similar occurrences. Muamba collapsed while playing for Bolton Wanderers against Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup quarter-finals in March 2012. But survived. Here are six more young players that are both gifted and ambitious. Their untimely deaths stunned the football world.
Antonio Puerta, a winger for Sevilla and Spain, died on Saturday at the age of 22 after fainting against Getafe. Puerta collapsed after racing towards his own goal 35 minutes into Saturday's season-opening league encounter at the Sánchez Pizjuán. Three days later, he died of multiple organ failure caused by prolonged cardiac arrest.
5. Marc-Vivien Foe - June 2003
Cameroon player Foe collapsed during a Confederations Cup semi-final versus Colombia in Lyon, after suffering a heart attack. Medical personnel tried to resuscitate the former Manchester City, West Ham, and Lyon footballer with mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and oxygen. He was proclaimed dead at the age of 28 after a 45-minute attempt to restart his heart failed. His death sparked advancements in both the examination and treatment of footballers with cardiac problems, including training club medical teams in CPR and the use of defibrillators.
4. Gary Speed (England)
Gary Speed, one of the most famous and inspirational footballers of his generation, was discovered dead in the garage of his home in Cheshire on November 27, 2011. He was mostly known for his powerful headers throughout his career. Although the coroner stated that "the evidence does not sufficiently indicate whether this was intentional or unintentional," the cause of death was announced as self-suspension.
3. Emmanuel Ogoli
Emmanuel Ogoli was a professional footballer from Nigeria who played as a left back. On December 12, 2010, while playing for Ocean Boys, the former Bayelsa United player collapsed on the pitch and died later in hospital.
2. Samuel okwaraji
Samuel Okwaraji was a Nigerian professional footballer and lawyer with a master's degree in international law from the University of Rome. On August 12, 1989, in the 77th minute of a World Cup qualification match against Angola at the National Stadium in Surulere, Lagos State, he fell and died of congestive heart failure.
1. Cheikh Tiote.
Cheikh Tiote, an Ivorian midfielder collapsed during a training session for Beijing Enterprises FC, a Chinese second-tier league team. Tiote had come over from Newcastle United in the English Premier League. In 2017, he passed away.
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