A 25-year-old soccer player died suddenly in the middle of a game on Saturday, according to reports.
Goalkeeper Arne Espeel unexpectedly died on the spot during a soccer match in West Flanders, Belgium.
Espeel collapsed after stopping a penalty kick during the second half of the match, according to a local news outlet VRT.
The game was immediately halted.
Emergency services were rapidly deployed to the scene and tried desperately to revive Espeel on the field for half an hour.
Espeel was then rushed to the hospital.
However, he was later declared dead on arrival after repeated attempts to resuscitate the young athlete failed.
“The players all showered together after the incident and then we sat down in the canteen,” says Dewerchin.
“When the message came that our goalkeeper had died, what an unusually hard blow.
“I think some players do not yet realize what exactly happened.”
No details have been released yet on the cause of death.
An autopsy will be conducted on Monday, according to VRT.
“The disbelief is great and the sadness immense at the West Flemish amateur club Winkel Sint-Eloois,” local news outlet Nieuwsblad reports, according to an English translation.
“The club plays in the first national but also has a B team in the second provincial.
“All young friends from the municipality who have been playing together since childhood.
“On Saturday evening, the team received Westrozebeke at 6 PM.
“After 45 minutes the score was 2-1 and after fifteen minutes into the second half, there was a penalty for the visitors.
“Home goalkeeper Arne Espeel stopped Mohammed El Baghdadi’s penalty kick and shouted yes when he suddenly went down again.
“He was shaking and no one quite knew what was happening.
“When Espeel remained lying down, the seriousness of the situation was seen and the first care was given to him.
“The emergency services also arrived on site and did everything possible with, among other things, a defibrillator, but the help was to no avail.”