YAOUNDE: Cameroon football has been struck by a second football player’s death in three days.
Last Friday midfielder Patrick Ekeng collapsed on the pitch and died while playing in a Romanian league match for Dinamo Bucharest against Vitorul. On Sunday women’s team goalkeeper Jeanine Christelle Djomnang collapsed during the warm-up before an elite league game in southern Cameroon.
Djomnang was declared dead in hospital. Cameroon FECAFOOT said initial reports suggest a heart attack but is awaiting a formal medical report. The 26-year-old complained of chest pains as she prepared to play for Femina Stars Ebolowa against Louves MINPROFF Yaounde.
A book of condolence has been opened at the federation headquarters for both Ekeng and Djomanang.
In Romania the cup final between Ekeng’s club, Dinamo Bucharest, and Cluj has been postponed a week until May 17 as a mark of respect. All matches this coming weekend will also be postponed.
The player’s elder sister, Monique Chantal, has claimed he said he was “feeling very tired” before the game.
She said: “He told his best friend he was not able to play. He said he was very tired. Patrick was very generous, a gentleman. It is very painful he is leaving behind a family – it is like a dream, a nightmare.”
FIFPro, the world footballers’ union, and its Romanian affiliate AFAN, have raised concerns about the level of first-aid treatment available to Ekeng.
Ekeng last spoke to his family on Thursday, talking about a house he was building back home in Yaounde, the Cameroonian capital.