The recent death of Ivorian footballer Cheick Tiote on the pitch brought an outpouring of sadness in the world of football. This left us asking if there is any evidence to suggest that African players are more likely to die on the pitch than other players. Down are other African footballers who died tragically.
5. Senzo Meyiwa -30 years
Senzo Robert Meyiwa was a South African footballer who played as a goalkeeper for Orlando Pirates in the Premier Soccer League, and for the South Africa national team.
At his girlfriend’s house in south Johannesburg, on 26 October 2014, Meyiwa was shot and killed by two men. The two men were burglars according to South African police.
4. Patrick Ekeng -26 years
The Cameroonian defensive midfielder was part of the Dinamo Bucaresti side at the time of his death. He only made a handful appearance for the team before collapsing during a match against Viitorul Constanta on May 6th, 2016.
Ekeng, 26, had come on as a sub in the second half. He was feeling quite fatigued and had told a friend that he did not feel like playing on the day. Ekeng fell down in the 69th minute of the match and was taken to hospital thereafter. He died two hours after passing out.
3. Marc-Vivien Foe -28 years
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Marc-Vivién Foé – Cameroon midfielder who tragically died on the pitch in 2003 during a Confederation Cup game against Colombia at the Stade de Gerland in Lyon… Foé was a very talented centre midfielder who was strong, quick and aggressive and played as a defensive midfielder for club and country. He was on loan at Manchester City from Lyon at the time of his death, and a very fitting accolade is that Foé scored the final goal at the club’s Maine Road Ground. He was said to be a likeable character with an infectious sense of humour, and is remembered kindly at all his previous clubs. #football #marcvivienfoe #cameroon #clasicoclothingco #westham #manchestercity #lyon #instagood #lens #againstmodernfootball #whenfootballwasace
Foe tragically passed away in 2003 in the middle of the FIFA Confederations Cup semi-final game between Cameroon and Colombia. He collapsed near the center circle and after attempts were made on the pitch to resuscitate him, he was stretchered off and received mouth-to-mouth and oxygen as medics spent 45-minutes trying to restart his heart.
His death profoundly shocked the world, and despite calls for the tournament to be abandoned in respect for Foe, the matches went ahead as planned, and Cameroon eventually lost the final to France.
In respect for Foe, French captain Marcel Desailly lifted the trophy with Cameroon captain Rigobert Song, as both teams came together to pay tribute to their fallen colleague.