Cameroon footballer dies in league game

2016-05-07 08:10
Patrick Ekeng of Cameroon is placed on a stretcher after collapsing (AP)

Bucharest - Cameroonian international Patrick Ekeng has died after collapsing on the pitch during a match with his Romanian side Dinamo Bucharest, the club confirmed on Friday.

The 26-year-old defensive midfielder fell to the ground without any contact with another player just seven minutes after coming on as a substitute during the league game against Viitorul Constanta.

Ekeng, who joined the Romanian club in January, was rushed to hospital where staff were unable to resuscitate him.

"Resuscitation attempts were made for an hour and half without success," Dinamo team doctor Liviu Paltinean told journalists.

Fans of the Bucharest club gathered outside the hospital late into the night to express their grief at the player's death.

"I can't believe it. It's a nightmare. For me, for the team and for all Dinamo supporters. It's too much," said club executive director Ionel Danciulescu.

Ekeng's death echoes that of his countryman Marc-Vivien Foe, who died of a heart attack in 2003 playing an Confederations Cup match against Colombia at the Gerland Stadium in Lyon, France.

More recently defender Grgory Mertens died three days after suffering a heart attack playing for his Belgian side Lokeren in April 2015.

Before arriving in Romania, Ekeng played for several European clubs, spending four seasons with French Ligue 2 side Le Mans from 2009 to 2013.

He then transferred to Lausanne in Switzerland from 2013-2014 and Spanish side Crdoba from 2014-2015 before joing Dinamo.

Cordoba tweeted their shock at the player's death.

"There are no words to express our sorrow over the death of Patrick Ekeng. We mourn your loss. We will never forget you friend. RIP," said a message on the Spanish club's Twitter feed.

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