A 25-year-old goalkeeper died suddenly during a football match in West Flanders, Belgium on Saturday evening.
Winkel Sport B goalkeeper Arne Espil died on the spot after stopping a penalty kick in the second half of the match.
According to a local news outlet VRT, the young Sint-Louis-Winkel goalkeeper saved the penalty kick, but then collapsed.
“The ball was still in play,” Winkel Sport B assistant coach Stephan Dwerchin said. “Our goalkeeper got up as quickly as possible to get the ball, but then he fell. It was really terrible to see.”
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The game is stopped immediately,
Emergency services rushed to the site and tried to revive the 25-year-old goalkeeper for half an hour.
Espil was then rushed to the hospital, but was later pronounced dead.
“After the incident the players all showered together and then we sat down in the canteen,” Dwerchin said. “When the news came that our goalkeeper had passed away, what an unusually hard blow. I think some players still don’t understand exactly what happened.”
The cause of death is yet to be revealed. An autopsy will be performed on Monday, according to VRT.
More from local news Nieuwsblad:
[Translation]At the West Flemish amateur club Winkel Sint-Elois the disbelief is great and the sadness immense. The club plays in the First National but also has a B team in the Second Province. All young friends from the municipality who have been playing together since childhood. The team takes on Westerosbey at 6pm on Saturday. The score was 2-1 after 45 minutes and a penalty for the visitors fifteen minutes into the second half. Home goalkeeper Arne Espil saved Mohamed El Baghdadi’s penalty kick and shouted yes when he suddenly went down again. He was shaking and no one knew what was happening. When Espil lay down, the seriousness of the situation was realized and he was given first aid. Emergency services also arrived at the site and, among other things, did everything possible with a defibrillator, but to no avail.
His younger brother Aaron (20) sat on the bench for the first time in weeks after the injury and watched it all unfold before his eyes.
“It’s a disaster and a shock for everyone,” said Patrick Rotsert, Winkel’s sports manager.
“Arne was with the club all his life and was well loved. He was an amazingly sympathetic boy, always in a good mood and willing to help. It really hit hard. First of all for his family and for our whole club.
Naturally the match stopped.