Football! The most popular sport in the world. Even though is full of so much positive phenomenon, it also sometimes comes with unpleasant events.
For so many times, we have seen players sustain injuries. And more sadly, football fans have had to see their favorite footballers break down and succumb to death.
Daily Report NG brings you the list of African footballers who tragically lost their lives on the field of play:
1. Marc-Vivien Foé (Cameroon)
Born on May 1, 1975, Foé was a talented Cameroonian midfielder known for his strength and versatility. He represented his national team and played for clubs such as Lyon and Manchester City. Tragically, Foé collapsed during a match between Cameroon and Colombia in the 2003 FIFA Confederations Cup, suffering from a heart attack. Despite immediate medical attention, he was unable to be revived and passed away at the age of 28.
2. Miklós Fehér (Hungary/Angola)
Fehér, born on July 20, 1979, played as a striker for Benfica and the Hungarian national team. While playing for Benfica in a league match against Vitoria Guimaraes on January 25, 2004, Fehér suddenly collapsed without any apparent contact. Despite efforts to revive him on the pitch, he tragically passed away due to a cardiac failure at the age of 24.
3. Endurance Idahor (Nigeria)
Idahor, born on January 8, 1984, was a Nigerian professional footballer known for his goal-scoring abilities as a striker. He played for Nigerian clubs such as Julius Berger and Bayelsa United. While representing Sudanese club Al-Merreikh in a league match against Al-Amal Atbara on March 6, 2010, Idahor collapsed on the pitch and subsequently passed away due to heart failure.
4. Bobsam Elejiko (Nigeria)
Elejiko, born on December 31, 1981, was a Nigerian professional footballer who played as a defender. He played for Nigerian clubs such as Enyimba and Warri Wolves. During a training session with his club AS Eupen in Belgium on July 30, 2010, Elejiko collapsed and later died of a suspected heart attack.
5. Patrick Ekeng (Cameroon)
Born on March 26, 1990, Ekeng was a Cameroonian midfielder who represented his national team and played for clubs such as Dinamo București. During a league match against Viitorul Constanța on May 6, 2016, Ekeng suddenly collapsed on the pitch due to heart failure. Despite efforts to resuscitate him, he tragically passed away at the age of 26.
6. Hedi Berkhissa (Tunisia)
Berkhissa, born on August 6, 1963, was a Tunisian footballer who played as a midfielder for Tunisian clubs such as Club Africain and Étoile du Sahel. During a league match between Étoile du Sahel and Espérance Sportive de Tunis on March 24, 1994, Berkhissa suddenly collapsed and died on the field. The exact cause of his death remains unknown.
7. Albert Ebosse (Cameroon)
Ebosse, born on February 6, 1989, was a Cameroonian forward who played for JS Kabylie in Algeria. Tragically, during a league match against USM Alger on August 23, 2014, he was struck in the head by a projectile thrown by angry fans after the match. Ebosse sustained a serious head injury and passed away shortly after the incident.
These players’ deaths highlight the importance of prioritizing the health and safety of athletes in professional football. While these incidents are tragedies, they have helped to raise awareness and push for better safety measures, including improved medical facilities, more rigorous health checks, and increased crowd control, to minimize the risk of such incidents on the field of play.
It is also reminders of the risks associated with the competitive and physically demanding nature of the game. In response, football organizations and authorities have implemented stricter health and safety protocols to prevent such tragedies and ensure the well-being of players on and off the field.