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LISTED: African Footballers Who Died Tragically in a Game for Club and Country

When footballers take to the field during the competition, their aim is to earn a win and propel their teams- either club or country- to glory.

However, there have been cases where players have died while on the field, either due to an injury sustained in the game or because of an undetected ailment that cannot handle the pressure of the game. In some cases, the players take ill on the pitch, which ends up being fatal.

Marc-Vivien Foe
On June 26, 2003, Marc-Vivien Foe suffered a heart attack in the middle of a game between his country Cameroon and Colombia during the FIFA Confederations Cup. The team’s medical officials tried to resuscitate him for 45 minutes but it proved unsuccessful. Foe passed on in hospital at the age of 28.

Samuel Okwaraji
In 1989, Nigeria was playing against Angola in a World Cup qualifier. In the 77th minute, Samuel Okwaraji collapsed and died in the field. An autopsy showed that the 24-year-old had an enlarged heart and high blood pressure.

Hédi Berkhissa
The Tunisian international was playing for his club, Espérance in a 1997 friendly match against French side Olympique Lyon when he collapsed and died at the end of the game

Endurance Idahor
Idahor, a Nigerian national was playing for his club, Sudanese side Al Merrikh. On March 6, 2010, in a league game, Idahor collapsed and later died on the way the hospital where he was rushed for treatment.

Victor Omogbehin
In August 2012, Victor Omogbehin, a Nigerian was playing in a league match in London between his team Ilford and Lowestoft Town FC. He collapsed in the field and died.


Bartholomew Opoku
Bartholomew Opoku was Ghanaian player who played for Kessben club in Ghana. In a match against Liberty FC on March 8, 2010, he collapsed and was rushed to the hospital. He was stabilised overnight but passed on the following day.

Emmanuel Ogoli
The Nigerian player was playing for Bayelsa United an Ocean Boys. He collapsed on the pitch while playing for Ocean Boys, and died later in hospital.

Bobsam Elejiko
Nigerian player, Elejiko died in a game between his team K. Merksem S.C. and F.C. Kaart in Antwerp. They tried to resuscitate him but he was pronounced dead and the match was abandoned. The autopsy revealed that he had ruptured the aorta.


Albert Ebossé Bodjongo
Bodjongo, a Cameroonian, was struck on the head by a projectile thrown from the stands as his team, JS Kabylie club in Algeria. The top scorer in the 2014 league later died in hospital at just 24. Investigations reveal that he suffered traumatic brain injury. Following the death, Algeria football federation suspended all football indefinitely and closed down the stadium where Bodjongo died.

David Oneya
Oneya was a Nigerian footballer playing in Malaysia for T-Team and Kelantan. He collapsed just three minutes into the game and had to be rushed to the hospital. The match went on until the 60th minutes when it was abandoned after they announced Oneya had passed on.

Ben Idrissa Derme
The Burkina Faso player Ben Idriss Derme collapsed in a match while playing for Corsican side, AJ Biguglia. The medical officers tried to treat Derme on the pitch but they were unable to revive him. He was pronounced dead shortly afterwards.

Patrick Ekeng
Ekeng, a Cameroonian national came in as a substitute in the second half in a match against Viitorul Constanța in May 2015. Apparently, he had mentioned that he was tired, and a few minutes into the game he collapsed. He was rushed to the hospital but was confirmed dead two hours later.


Written by How Africa

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