Dinamo Bucharest player and Cameroon international Patrick Ekeng died after collapsing on the pitch during a league match. The midfielder was on the pitch after coming on as a second half substitute against Viitorul Constanta, when he collapsed onto the pitch in the 70th minute.
According to local media, Ekeng reportedly died of a heart attack, a little over an hour after being taken to the hospital. The 26-year-old only joined Dinamo Bucharest in January, and was making just his seventh appearance for the club, when seven minutes after coming on in the second half, the tragedy happened.
Ekeng breathed his last at the Floreasca Emergency hospital, with the doctors unable to revive him in time.
According to Digisport, it took 13 seconds short of three minutes to take Ekeng to the ambulance, which, unfortunately, did not contain any equipment, which might have come in handy for such a situation.
"Dinamo tonight lost footballer Claude Patrick Ekeng forever," Dinamo Bucharest wrote on their official Facebook page. "On behalf of all of Dinamo, sincere condolences to the bereaved family. God rest his soul."
Ekeng's previous club – Cordoba – also offered their condolences. "There are no words to express our sorrow at the death of Patrick Ekeng," Cordoba wrote on their official Twitter account. "We mourn your loss.
"We will never forget you friend. RIP."
The Romanian Football Federation postponed all matches for this weekend, while, according to media reports, launching an investigation into the tragedy.
This isn't the first time that a Dinamo Bucharest player has fatally collapsed on the pitch while playing a game. In 2000, Catalin Hildan, the club captain at the time, died after collapsing during a friendly.
Another player from Cameroon, Marc Vivien Foe, who played in the Premier League for Manchester City and West Ham, died in 2003 after collapsing on the pitch during an international game against Colombia.