Ivorian player Sylla dies after collapsing on pitch

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Moustapha Sylla died after collapsing in the pitch, as former Chelsea player Didier Drogba stated that players must be protected.

Ivory Coast footballer Moustapha Sylla has died after collapsing on the pitch during a domestic league game on Sunday.

Sylla, who represented 2020 domestic champions Racing Club d’Abidjan, fell to the turf at the Stade Robert Champroux during matchday 20 of the domestic season, and was pronounced dead at hospital after being transported by paramedics.

“The player collapsed during a Ligue 1 championship match, where his club — Racing Club d’Abidjan — were facing Sol FC d’Abodo.” former Ivory Coast Football Federation vice-president Sory Diabate told media.

“He gave up his spirit after being transferred to the hospital.”

In a video of the incident, Sylla appeared to stumble before losing his balance and falling to the ground motionless, prompting opposition players to signal to the referee to halt the contest.

“The club’s management address sincere condolences to his biological family,” read a statement published by his club. “Rest in peace Moustapha, rest in peace lion.”

Neither the club nor the federation gave a tangible cause of his death.

Reacting to Sylla’s death on Monday, former Ivory Coast striker and FIFA presidential hopeful Drogba called for more action to be done to protect the country’s players.

“Condolences to Ivorian football,” wrote Drogba, whose international teammate Cheick Tiote died following a cardiac arrest during training in 2017. “Three deaths of Ivorian professional league players in less than four years.

“Where are the compulsory medical visits for each professional’ player? The blood tests, the ECGs, the stress tests? When will sports medicine arrive?”

 

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