Dinamo Bucharest and Cameroon midfielder Patrick Ekeng died less than two hours after collapsing on the pitch in a live televised game against FC Viitorul Constanta.
With his team up 3-2, Ekeng, 26, came on as a substitute in the 70th minute and fell to the pitch just seven minutes later. He was rushed to nearby Floreasca Emergency Hospital where doctors tried to resuscitate him for over an hour.
Our cameroon football family has lost a brother. I cannot believe this. Condolences to his family. RIP Patrick Ekeng pic.twitter.com/lFRRrs4uhR
— Stephane Mbia (@StephaneMbia) May 6, 2016
Local media is reporting that he died of a heart attack.
Ekeng made his debut with Cameroon’s senior side in January of 2015 against DR Congo. He was also on the squad later that month for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations but never saw the field for the Indomitable Lions during the tournament.
He had just scored his first goal for his club in last month’s Romania Cup semifinal:
Dinamo Bucharest released a statement through their Facebook page,
“DINAMO TONIGHT LOST FOOTBALLER CLAUDE PATRICK EKENG EKENG FOREVER.”
“ON BEHALF OF ALL DINAMO, SINCERE CONDOLENCES TO THE BEREAVED FAMILY. GOD REST HIS SOUL.”
Spanish club Cordoba FC, who Ekeng had previously played for, released a statement through their official Twitter account:
No hay palabras para expresar nuestro dolor por la muerte de Patrick Ekeng. Lloramos tu pérdida. Nunca te olvidaremos amigo. DEP
— Córdoba CF (@cordobacfsad) May 6, 2016
Patrick, may you ball in heaven forever.