Please verify

Blaze Media
Watch LIVE

Belgian soccer player suddenly collapses on field and dies just moments after defending penalty kick

Image source: YouTube screenshot

A Belgian soccer player suddenly died on Saturday after collapsing on the pitch just moments after defending a penalty kick.

Arne Espeel — a goalkeeper for Winkel Sport B, which compete's in Belgium's second provincial division — successfully defended his goal against a penalty kick while playing Westrozebeke.

When Espeel went to retrieve the ball, he collapsed on the field. Emergency responders rushed to his aid and used a defibrillator on him, indicating the medical emergency was cardiac-related. But he tragically died.

Espeel was just 25 years old.

In a statement, the Winkel Sport B club said, "Winkel Sport is in very deep mourning by the sudden death of Arne Espeel. We wish family and friends of Arne our heartfelt condolences in this heavy loss. Football is an afterthought."

Club manager Patrick Rotsaert said in a statement:

This is a disaster and a shock to everyone. Arne had been with the club all his life and was very loved. He was a wonderfully sympathetic boy, always in a good mood and ready to help. This is really a heavy blow. First of all for his family and also our whole club.

An autopsy was scheduled for Monday, Reuters reported. The results have not yet been released.

What is the background?

There have been an unusually high number of incidents in recent months where athletes and other people engaged in physical activity have suddenly died — or come close to death.

The most high-profile incident happened last month when Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin suddenly collapsed on the field after just standing up at the end of a play.

Emergency responders administered CPR and used a defibrillator, suggesting that Hamlin's heart had stopped beating. Hamlin had indeed suffered cardiac arrest, but quick-working medical responders managed to restore Hamlin's heartbeat on the field. Hamlin's recovery continues.

Like Blaze News? Bypass the censors, sign up for our newsletters, and get stories like this direct to your inbox. Sign up here!

Most recent

Glenn’s POWERFUL Memorial Day message: ‘The BEST OF US ALL’

All Articles