Apart from the demise of Christian Atsu in the Turkish earthquake, incidents of footballers dying tragically have been a recurrent phenomenon.
Here, we take a look at 10 footballers who died tragically under mysterious circumstances.
Born on 10 January, 1992 in Ghana, Christian Atsu was buried in a massive 7.7 and 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Turkey and was confirmed death after over a week of a fruitless search and rescue operation. He played for Turkish Super Lig side Hatayspor before his death.
Perkhun’s death was another big tragedy that befell Russian Premier League side CSKA Moscow and Ukrainian fans. He crashed into a head-on collision with Budun Budunov and was confirmed dead days later.
Daniel Jarque of Spain is another footballer who died tragically. Looking hale and hearty, Jargue played for Espanyol before he suddenly collapsed and died in the club’s hotel room in 2009 at the age of 26.
Cheik Tiote is another African footballer who suffered a tragic death. He made his debut as a professional footballer with Belgian side Anderlecht.
He also played for Newcastle United in the Premier League before joining Beijing Enterprises in China. He suffered a cardiac arrest and died at the age of 30.
Gaviria is another African footballer who died tragically. In 2022, Gaviria was training with Deportivo Cali when he was suddenly struck and killed by lightening. He was a Cameroonian and his death came as big shock to Cameroonian football fans.
Escobar was a South American footballer, who represented Colombia in the USA 1994 World Cup. He mistakenly scored an own goal which led to a US win over Colombia in the tournament.
Escobar reportedly received death threats from football hooligans following the own goal. He was warned not to return to Colombia in a hurry after the tournament.
He defied the warning and made his way back to the country after the tournament. Escobar was shot dead in a restaurant by armed men after an argument about his own goal ensued.
He died at the age of 27. He played as a defender throughout his professional football career. He had reportedly insisted the own goal was not intentional, but was gunned down as the argument raged.
Feher was a top Hungarian forward who plied his trade with Portuguese giants Benfica before meeting his untimely and shocking death.
While featuring for Benfica against Vitoria in 2004, Feher collapsed and died of heart attack. It was later revealed he suffered from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy which led to his death.
Gary Speed shocked the whole world in 2011 as he took a rather awkward move and ended his life.
Speed committed suicide in his garage. His wife reportedly saw his corpse on that fateful day on November, 2011. He was a high-profile footballer, and had died in his home in Cheshire, England.
Antonio Puerta was another Spanish footballer who met his untimely death under mysterious circumstances. He died of a heart attack during a match between Sevilla and Getafe.
Foe is another African footballer who died tragically and a second Cameroonian to suffer such fate after Gaviria.
He featured for Cameroon national team in the 2003 Confederation Cup and suddenly fell to the ground and could not be resuscitated.
It was later learnt he suffered from a cardiac arrest caused by hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.