Death on football pitch: tragedy that shocks the world

Death on football pitch: tragedy that shocks the world Photo: ftbl.ru

Recently it has become known that a 20-year-old Dutch player Abdelhak Nouri might lose the opportunity not only to walk but also to speak. The Amsterdam Ajax midfielder was diagnosed with irreversible brain damage. On July 8, during a friendly match against Werder Bremen, the player collapsed on pitch and lost consciousness. The doctors assisted him for 15 minutes, using a defibrillator and trying to restore the heart. Realnoe Vremya recalls similar cases that will remain forever in the memory of everyone who loves sports.

Abdelhak Nouri, the Netherlands

This spring, another young and courageous Ajax generation began to amaze Europe. The team reached the final of the Europa League, losing only to Manchester United. A young midfielder of the Dutch team Abdelhak Nouri also began his ascent on the football Olympus in the last season. He was even compared to a good half of the best attacking players in the world. It was a new season, new hopes and new goals.

However, misfortune came from where it was not expected. At a friendly match, Nouri lost consciousness during the game (photo on the poster) and was taken by helicopter ambulance to the hospital. Fortunately, the player stayed alive, but according to the doctors, he will never be able to walk, talk and recognise people. He was diagnosed with serious and irreversible brain damage. It is clear that career ended before it even started. It only remains to hope that the Dutchman's life will not end.

Marc-Vivien Foé, Cameroon

The Cameroonian footballer began to ''star'' at the professional level in the late 90s. It is not surprisingly that after Cameroon Foé turned out to be in France — they love to attract immigrants from Africa, especially talented ones. After RC Lens, it was English West Ham, whence he returned to France, but already to Marseille. Since then, people started to talk about Foé as an irreplaceable player in the midfield. Such he was in the national team of Cameroon, where by 28 years he managed to play 64 matches.

The midfielder all his life dreamed to be in the club from Manchester. Interestingly, first Marc-Vivien could be in Manchester United, but because of a broken leg his shift to the ''red devils'' failed. The season before the FIFA Confederations Cup 2003 Foé spent on loan in Manchester City, and after the tournament was supposed to go there on a full transfer. And here the national team of Cameroon in the semifinals of the tournament plays with Colombia and confidently goes to the finals. Suddenly on the 71st minute of the game, Foé fell on pitch, the doctors were trying to save footballer's life, but all their efforts were in vain. The player was diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

The national team of Cameroon started the match of the Confederations Cup with a portrait of Foé. Photo: fifa.com

The whole football world was shocked by this news. There was even a proposal to cancel the final match of the Confederations Cup, but the Cameroon side insisted on holding it. According to the Cameroonians, Foé was always a competitor and demanded the same from others. In the end, the game was held, the national team of Cameroon came to it with a portrait of Foé, and after the match they did farewell circle with the photograph of the footballer.

Miklós Fehér, Hungary

One of the most talented Hungarian players of his time almost entire professional career spent in Portugal. First Fehér tried to gain a foothold in Porto, but because of the disagreements of his agent with the coach of the ''dragons'' he spent a year in the reserves of Porto, from where he went to Lisbon S.L. Benfica. There he did not start to play more often, but at least he scored and gave assists.

During a match of the Portugal championship against Vitória S.C., Fehér played as a substitute. The Hungarian striker played half an hour and managed to provide an assist. At the end of the game, he earned a yellow card for breaking an attack of the opponent, after that he casually fixed his hair, smiled to the judge and fell on the field. Another five minutes his heart was beating, the doctors tried to bring the player in mind, but achieved nothing.

About the death of the 24-year-old Hungarian footballer it became known an hour and a half later. As it turned out, he had the same disease as Foé did — hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. The attacker was buried in his hometown Győr, and the ceremony was attended by all players and staff of Benfica and the national team of Hungary. The number 29, which belonged to Fehér, was forever removed from circulation of the ''eagles''.

Fehér had the same disease as Foé did— hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Photo: chelsearus.com

Daniel Jarque, Spain

The Spanish defender was not widely known to world football fans, but for RCD Espanyol and its fans Jarque was a very valuable player. A pupil of the Catalan football spent his entire professional career in the native club. The player never complained about his health, the stranger it is what happened to him.

The team was preparing for a friendly match against Bologna in Florence. During a conversation by phone with his friend Jarque lost consciousness and fell on the floor. As it turned out, he suffered a heart attack. The defender was found in this condition not immediately, but in the hospital they failed to bring him back to life. The cause of heart attack was not defined.

During the celebration of a goal in the final of the World Cup 2010 Iniesta took off his game jersey, under which there was a t-shirt with the words ''Dani Jarque is always with us''. Later, Andres presented this t-shirt to Espanyol. Also, during each home game of the Catalans the fans applaud on the 21st minute — it was the number of Jarque.

During each home game of the Catalans the fans applaud on the 21st minute — it was the number of Jarque. Photo: Reuters (postimees.ee)

Fabrice Muamba, the UK

The midfielder spent his entire career in England, although born in the Congo when the country was called Zaire. When Fabrice was six years old, his family moved to England, where they settled. Here, the future midfielder started his professional career at school of London Arsenal, but for Wenger's team he did not play a game within the Premier League (he played only during the cups). Nevertheless, he became valuable in Birmingham and Bolton, where he played six seasons in total.

In March 2012, during a Cup game against Tottenham, Muamba lost consciousness at the end of the first half. The midfielder was delivered to the hospital, for a long time he was in intensive care and in the end survived. The midfielder suffered a heart attack and, of course, finished his football career, and the leadership of the English club promised him an administrative post in the club.

Muamba for a long time was in intensive care and in the end survived. Photo: sports.ru

Cheick Tioté, Piermario Morosini, Nedzhad Botoinich and others

Unfortunately, it is not single tragic incidents that took place on football pitch and outside of it. Football players risk their own health on the way to their dream and often overestimate their own strength. For some of them, dramatic situations end relatively well – they, at least, are still alive, and a finished career doesn't seem such a big failure. Of course, there are a lot of questions to doctors who can be not ready for emergencies, but football is becoming more intense — some players hold 60 games a season, working simply to the point of exhaustion. So attempts by FIFA and UEFA to reduce the number of games doesn't seem so crazy, isn't it?

By Aleksandr Lushkin
Sports