Cameroon international footballer Patrick Ekeng has died after collapsing on the pitch and reportedly suffering a heart attack.
Patrick collapsed while playing a first division match on Friday with his Romanian side Dinamo Bucharest against Viitorul.
The 26-year-old midfielder was not near any other players when he fell to the ground in the 70th minute of the game – just seven minutes after coming on as a substitute.
Ekeng – who joined Dinamo Bucharest in January – was rushed to hospital where he was pronounced dead two hours after his collapse.
The Dinamo team’s doctor later revealed that despite fighting for the young player’s life there was nothing they could do.
He said: “Resuscitation attempts were made for an hour and half without success.”
Watch the heartbreaking video of Patrick Ekeng collapse during the match:
And also here:
Fans of the Romanian club gathered outside the hospital late into the night to share the grief of Ekeng’s friends, family and teammates.
The team’s Executive director Ionel Danciulescu said: “I can’t believe it.
“It’s a nightmare. For me, for the team and for all Dinamo supporters. It’s too much.”
But it’s not the first time the side has been struck by tragedy mid-game.
Fellow Dinamo player Catalin Haldan died in October 2006 after suffering a cardiac arrest while playing a friendly.
Mr Danciulescu added: ”It’s as if we are cursed.”
Before arriving in Romania Ekeng played for several European clubs including French side Le Mans and Spanish club Cordoba, which tweeted: “There are no words to express our sorrow over the death of Patrick Ekeng.
“We mourn your loss. We will never forget you friend. RIP.”
Meanwhile the Bucharest club wrote on Facebook: “We will love you forever, Patrick Ekeng!”
Ekeng made his debut for Cameroon in January 2015 and was named in the squad for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations where Cameroon was eliminated in the group stage.
Cameroon international midfielder and captain Stephane Mbia tweeted his shock.
He said: ”Our Cameroon football family has lost a brother. I cannot believe this. Condolences to his family. RIP Patrick Ekeng.”
May his soul rest in peace.