Belgian goalkeeper Arne Espeel collapsed on the field and died after saving a penalty kick, according to reports.
The 25-year-old was playing for Sint-Eloois-Winkel Sport’s B team in a second provincial division match against Westrozebeke on Saturday evening, according to Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad. “Home goalkeeper Arne Espeel stopped Mohammed El Baghdadi’s penalty and shouted yes when he suddenly went down again,” the report says. “He was shaking and no one quite knew what was happening.”
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“When Espeel remained lying down, the seriousness of the situation was seen,” the report added.
Emergency services arrived and used a defibrillator but were unable to revive the amateur goalkeeper, according to Het Nieuwsblad. Espeel’s 20-year-old brother, Aaron, was reportedly on the substitute’s bench when his sibling collapsed.
“Winkel Sport is in deep mourning due to the sudden death of Arne Espeel,” the soccer club said in a statement on its website. “We wish Arne’s family and friends our sincere deepest sympathy in this great loss. Football is an afterthought.”
Goal.com reports that the results of an autopsy carried out on Monday have not yet been released.