The tragic death of 26-year-old Cameroon player Patrick Ekeng on Friday has shocked the world, with compatriot Samuel Eto’o publically mourning the midfielder’s passing on social media.
The Dinamo Bucharest player collapsed on the pitch in the 70th minute while representing his Romanian club at home, dying of a heart attack according to local reports, but this is to be confirmed by an autopsy.
After only seven minutes on the field, he fell to the ground, with emergency services taking two minutes and 47 seconds to move him to the ambulance.
At the Floreasca Emergency Hospital, doctors tried to resuscitate him for over 90 minutes, but pronounced him dead thereafter.
This tragedy brings to mind a similar death of a Cameroon international in 2003, with Marc-Vivien Foe passing away on the pitch during a Confederations Cup semi-final match against Colombia.
The solemn memory was revisited by the most famous Indomitable Lions player of his generation, as Eto’o wrote on Facebook: ‘The sad images of this drama brought back another — that of June 26, 2003 at Gerland.’
Eto’o went on to say: ‘Like a broken record of sadness and tragedy, Patrick Ekeng passed away, struck dead. I am completely devastated. Football still needed you, but life decided otherwise. Rest in peace young brother!’
Eto’o concluded with a hashtag reference to the Indomitable Lions, of which Ekeng was a member: “A Lion does not die, he sleeps.”