Footage of the incident shows the 28-year-old falling by himself on the field 24 minutes into the match between Dwamena’s team, Egnatia and opposing team Partizani. He received immediate medical assistance from staff onsite, but “unfortunately passed away,” according to news confirming the death issued by the Albanian Super League. The game was stopped completely with a score of 1-1.
Dwamena was one of the Albanian Super League’s top scorers, with nine goals in the league to his name.
The Ghana Football Association where Dwamena once played, also confirmed the news, posting online their deepest condolences to the football star’s family and loved ones.
“He served his country well and showed class,” the Ghanian football organization also said. “This news is hard to take,” said the club’s president, Kurt Edwin Simeon-Okraku.
Dwamena was diagnosed with a heart condition – a “serious ventricular arrhythmia” – in 2017, but was still allowed to play after receiving an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator. The device allowed doctors to monitor his heart condition, especially during games. However, he later decided to have the device removed.
Dr. Antonio Asso, the player’s cardiologist, said that while Dwamena’s decision to have the defibrillator removed was “respectable,” the striker would still be alive if the device was still implanted.
This was also not the first time the striker collapsed on the pitch – he suffered a similar incident in 2021 while he was still playing for Blau-Weiß Linz against Hartberg in the Austrian Cup. However, in that case, he was still able to get back up and rejoin the game.
Dwamena played for different clubs in Austria, Spain, and Switzerland during the course of his career.
“Rest in Peace Raphael Dwamena. You will always be one of us!” FC Zurich, one of Dwamena’s former teams posted online.
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