Lionel Messi plays football with his kids
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The footballer has been named as Samuel Akwasi, a junior player for FC Cavaliers in Nottingham. The club described him as “very well respected by all his team members”. His death was confirmed in a statement released by Nottingham Football Association.
The statement reads: “Nottinghamshire FA is saddened to inform you that following a medical emergency during a youth game yesterday, 13-year-old Samuel, a player for FC Cavaliers, has passed away.”
A spokesperson for FC Cavaliers said Samuel had played with the club since U9s and was “very well respected by all his team members.”
The incident occurred during a match between FC Cavaliers Green U13 and West Bridgford Rossoneri U13 at the Forest Recreation Ground on Saturday, May 7. The game was cancelled following the incident.
A spokesperson for the Young Elizabeth Football League said it is “devastated” by the events.
They said: “We are devastated to have to report the tragic events that unfolded yesterday morning during a YEL U13 game between FC Cavaliers and West Bridgford Rossoneri.
“A young Cavaliers player, Samuel Akwasi, collapsed on the pitch after suffering a sudden cardiac arrest.
“Despite the best efforts of those present and the quick application of a defibrillator along with the speedy response of the emergency services, Samuel sadly passed away in the QMC.
“On behalf of the Young Elizabeth League and our football community, our hearts and prayers all go out to his family and friends as well as FC Cavaliers at this awful time.”
Nottingham FA said on Twitter that it was sending its condolences to Samuel’s friends, family and teammates at “this extremely difficult time”.
Following the tweet, many took to Twitter to voice their support.
Dorset County FC said: “Heartbreaking news, our thoughts are with Samuel’s family, friends and all involved at his club.”
The tragic events mark the second time in a year that a young person has died following a medical emergency on the pitch.
Last year, West Bridgford player Dylan Rich died at the age of 17 during an FA Youth Cup fixture in September.
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The charity Cardiac Risk in the Young has said that 12 fit and healthy young people die in the UK from undiagnosed cardiac conditions every week.
Chairman of the charity, Dr Steven Cox, told the BBC that it was one of the most common causes of death in young people.
He said: “In 80 percent of tragedies there are no prior symptoms whatsoever, so the first time anyone becomes aware that there’s a cardiac problem is when someone collapses and has a cardiac arrest.”
He added: “The key thing from CRY’s perspective is that every fit and healthy young person from the age of 14 has the opportunity to have cardiac screening, with at least an ECG.”
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