A former Nigerian U-23 star footballer, Endurance Idahor, yesterday collapsed on the pitch and later died at the hospital in Sudan during a league match.

The Sudanese Premier League match-up between El-Merriekh and Al-Amal, Nigerian-born forward Endurance Idahor was rushed to hospital after a challenge from a fellow player left him on his back, unable to breathe.

Despite the teams’ best efforts to see that the striker was given treatment as quickly as possible, the 23-year-old is said to have passed away inside the ambulance on the way to the hospital.

Players, coaching staff and the 30,000 supporters stood in disbelief as the referee whistled the end of the match.

El-Merreikh Club officials said that the player will undergo an autopsy to determine the cause of death. Meanwhile, early medical reports state that a heart attack is the most likely cause of death.

The club released a brief announcement describing the player as “An example of a professional and committed individual and a symbol of loyalty” and added, “We will assure that justice takes place.”

Endurance Idahor joined El-Merreikh from Nigerian outfits Dolphin in 2006, loaned to Al-Nasser of UAE for one season and since his return he became a key figure in the first team squad scoring over 67 goals, leading the club to their first CAF confederation cup final since 1989.

It remains to be seen whether the rest of week 3 matches taking place on Sunday will be postponed or not.

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