Occurrence of sudden cardiac death among footballers a major issue


Football is by far the world’s most popular sport and because of this, the occurrence of sudden cardiac death appears more prevalent.

It also seems to be African players who are more likely to fall victim to the problem…the question is why are healthy players dying and what needs to be done to stop it from happening again.

CGTN’s Sias du Plessis takes a look.

Former Ivorian defensive midfielder Cheick Tiote will be buried in Abidjan on Sunday.

CAF medical committee member Dr Yacine Zerguini says more research is needed to understand why on-field fatalities are on the rise among African footballers.  In his research, ‘The Heart of the African Player’, the Algerian orthopaedic surgeon hopes to encourage measures to avoid these deaths.

Celestine Karoney has more.

30 year-old Cheick Tiote is the latest to pass on while on the pitch last week while playing for his club Beijing Enterprises.

In April, Ivorian-born Gabonese international Moise Brou Apanga died while training with his club in Libreville.

Notably, Patrick Ekeng collapsed and died on the pitch while playing for Dinamo Bucharest at the age of 26 last year.

In 2015, Nigerian David Oniya passed on while featuring for a friendly for his club side in Malaysia, while two years earlier, Sekou Camara passed on in Malaysia. The Malian was just 28.

At just the age of 21, Henry Chinonso Ihele-were died while playing for his Romanian club in 2012.

Zambian Chaswe Nsofwa was a striker with Hapoel Be-er Sheva who died while training in 2007.

The sad case of Marc Vivien Foe shook the world in 2003 at the Confederations Cup and one of the earlier cases happened in 1989, when Samwel Okwa-waraji died during a Super Eagles match in Lagos.

Dr Philippe Gradidge is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Witwatersrand in South Africa.  He has studied, among other things Biokinetics and Exercise Science the University’s Centre of Exercise, Science & Sports Medicine.

He gives an insight on this problem of players collapsing on football pitches.