Chelsea legend, Didier Drogba, has called for better medical checks to protect footballers in his native Cote d’Ivoire after the death of a player during a top-flight game.
Racing Club d’Abidjan (RCA) defender, Moustapha Sylla, 21, collapsed during the match against SOL FC last Sunday and was pronounced dead on the way to hospital, according to his club.
Video of the incident shows Sylla stumbling before losing his balance and falling to the ground motionless near the centre-circle, prompting opposition players to call for medical assistance.
RCA president, Logossina Cisse, described Sylla as a “rising star that left too soon,” while the Ivorian Football Federation (FIF) led tributes on social media.
Patrice Motsepe, president of the Confederation of African Football, also expressed his shock at “the tragic passing of such a young life who showed promise on the football field”.
Sylla won the 2022 Malian title with Djoliba AC before joining RCA in September.
Reacting to the death, Drogba demanded that players be offered more medical protection by footballing authorities.
“Where are the compulsory medical visits for each professional player? The blood tests, the ECGs, the stress tests? When will sports medicine arrive?”
Meanwhile, football fans in South Africa are also mourning the passing of a top-flight player.
Richards Bay midfielder, Siphamandla Mtolo, collapsed during training on Tuesday.
The Premier Division side, which currently sit sixth on the table, have said they will release a further statement in due course. –BBC