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Tragedy Loss: 5 African Football Players who passed away during match

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Prince Jean

Feb 17, 2024


In Memoriam: A solemn tribute to the five African football players whose lives were tragically lost on the pitch, forever remembered in the hearts of fans and fellow athletes alike
In Memoriam: A solemn tribute to the five African football players whose lives were tragically lost on the pitch, forever remembered in the hearts of fans and fellow athletes alike

In a solemn ceremony held yesterday, February 16, in Accra, former Black Stars player Raphael Dwamena, who tragically lost his life during a football match last year, has been laid to rest. The proceedings will commence with Dwamena lying in state at the Adjiringano Astro Turf in Accra, followed by a private burial.


Dwamena's untimely demise occurred on November 2023 during a match between KF Egnatia and KF Partizani in the Albanian top flight. Collapsing in the 23rd minute of the game, he was swiftly taken to the hospital but, regrettably, was declared dead.


This poignant event prompts a reflection on several African footballers who met a similar fate while engaging in the sport they cherished. This list, while not exhaustive, serves as a poignant reminder of incidents that have profoundly impacted the football community across Africa and the globe.

1. Marc-Vivien Foé (Cameroon)

Date of Death: June 26, 2003

Circumstance:  Foé collapsed on the field during a FIFA Confederations Cup match against Colombia in Lyon, France. The cause of death was later identified as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a hereditary heart muscle condition.

Impact: Foé's passing catalyzed increased medical screenings in football, prompting clubs and national teams to implement more rigorous heart checks for their players.

 2. Endurance Idahor (Nigeria)

 Date of Death: March 6, 2010

Circumstance: Idahor tragically collapsed on the pitch while playing for Al-Merreikh in a Sudanese Premier League match. Efforts to revive him on the field were unsuccessful, and his death was pronounced upon arrival at the hospital.

Impact: Idahor's death raised concerns about medical facilities and emergency response protocols at football stadiums in Africa.

 3. Patrick Ekeng (Cameroon)

 Date of Death: May 6, 2016

 Circumstance: Ekeng collapsed on the field after substituting in a Romanian Liga I match for Dinamo Bucharest. Despite resuscitation efforts, Ekeng passed away in the hospital due to a heart attack.

 Impact: His death prompted reviews of medical preparedness and emergency medical services at sports events, particularly in Romania.

 4. Cheick Tioté (Ivory Coast)

Date of Death: June 5, 2017

Circumstance: Tioté passed away after collapsing during a training session with Beijing Enterprises in China. The reported cause of death was a heart attack.

Impact: Tioté's untimely death led to calls for enhanced health monitoring for footballers, emphasizing the necessity of regular and comprehensive medical evaluations.

 5. Chinonso Ihelwere Henry (Nigeria)

 Date of Death: August 5, 2012

Circumstance: Ihelwere Henry collapsed during a match.

Impact: Henry's passing contributed to the growing concerns regarding the health and safety of football players, underscoring the importance of early detection of heart conditions. []

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