While the repercussions for the sudden retirement of star Sergio Agüero due to heart problems continue, last week was tragic for world football.
Four footballers died of heart attacks on the pitch, as Cardiology seems determined to display a warning card alongside the traditional New Year’s postcard.
The first victim was the young Croatian player, Marín Cacic, 23, who died in the hospital where he was in an induced coma three days after fainting in the stadium while playing the Christmas Tournament in his native municipality, Gospic.
According to local media Sportske Novosti, in the middle of the game Cacic said he felt bad and left the pitch, the young man went to the bench and collapsed there. An ambulance immediately picked him up.
In the Gospic hospital they resuscitated him, and then he was transferred to the Clinical Hospital of Rijeka, the third largest city in Croatia, where he died. The cause of death was a heart attack.
“Marín had been healthy until now, and examined regularly, before he came to play in Italy and Slovakia,” said Stipe Cacic, his father and secretary of the Lika-Senj County Football Association.
A day later, 29-year-old Omani soccer player Mukhaled Al-Raqadi died of a heart attack. He collapsed in the pre-match warm-up between the Muscat and Al-Suwaiq clubs.
Both teams were preparing for the sixth round of the Omani national championship.
Each team needed a victory to get away from the bottom of the table, and that expected tension would turn into an unusual tragedy.
Muscat’s Al-Raqadi warmed up with his teammate, and then fell to the grass. According to the Omani press, the temperature was above 28 degrees Celsius, and many initially thought he fainted due to the heat.
He was soon transferred to the hospital, but sadly, a few hours later, news of his death from a heart attack spread. The main referee had already suspended the match after he was taken to the hospital.
Al-Rabat and Al-Anwar Al-Masry, the Egyptian third division club goalkeeper, Ahmed Amin, passed away fainting during training for his team.
According to the digital edition in English of “Middle East.in-24″, and according to Ahmed Abdel Aziz, technical director of the team, Amin finished the training session and collapsed in the locker room. The doctor tried unsuccessfully to revive him and an ambulance was called. At the nearest hospital, doctors again tried to revive him but he died of a heart attack.
Amin’s death occurred a few hours after the death of Al-Raqadi.
Last Saturday, Algerian footballer Sofiane Loukar died shortly after colliding with his team’s goalkeeper.
While trying to make a play on the ball, the 30-year-old defender Loukar was hit by his goalkeeper who also came out to clear the ball. The game was interrupted, the sports doctor attended to the player on the pitch, and Loukar was able to resume as if nothing had happened.
But nine minutes later, Loukar collapsed again according to the Algerian media “Liberté”. He was quickly taken care of by the medical staff. The defender showed signs of shortness of breath and was having trouble speaking. Resuscitation attempts were quickly made, but he died on the way from the stadium to the hospital.
The match was cancelled with Loukar’s team leading 1-0. “His medical history was very good,” his coach repeated.
Loukar was the fourth footballer to die from heart issues in a week. He had gotten married just a few days before his untimely death.