What caused the death of Dinamo Bucharest’s midfielder Patrick Ekeng and Jeanine Christelle Djomnang, a goalkeeper, only hours apart?
Both Patrick aged 26 and Christelle, also aged 26 died after collapsing on the football pitch.
Ekeng fell to the ground in the 70th minute of a televised Romanian league match between Dinamo and Viitorul. Two hours later, he was pronounced dead in hospital.
As a result, the Romanian Football Federation postponed the Romanian Cup final between Dinamo and Cluj to 17 May.
Ekeng had also previously played for Le Mans and Lausanne.
Not long after the sad incidence, the Cameroon Football Federation (Fecafoot) announced the death of Jeanine Christelle Djomnang.
The goalkeeper collapsed during her warm-up before a Femina Stars Ebolowa match in southern Cameroon before being rushed to the hospital.
An inquiry into the death of Ekeng revealed that the ambulance company that took him to hospital had faulty equipment with expired medicines in some of its vehicles.
His agent also criticised the treatment received by the African player. “The ambulance arrived late,” Hasan Anil Eken told local media. “Actually there were three ambulances in the stadium but none of them had a defibrillator.”
After his death, world soccer players’ union FIFPro raised concerns about the level of first-aid treatment for footballers in Romania, saying “it is clear that some Romanian clubs have a history of skimping on medical facilities”.
The results of the autopsies of both players were still being expected as at press time.
In 2003, Cameroon international midfielder Marc-Vivien Foe died after collapsing during a Confederations Cup match against Colombia in France.