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9 Jan, 2022 10:53

Footballer suffers heart attack on pitch

The Mali international's wife has sent a message to fans after he collapsed in the goalmouth during a game in Qatar
Footballer suffers heart attack on pitch

Mali defender Ousmane Coulibaly's wife has given an update after medics rushed onto the field to treat the stricken star when he suffered a heart attack during a football match in Qatar.

The 32-year-old was playing for Al Wakrah in a Qatar Stars League match against Al-Rayyan when he collapsed on the turf of the Al-Janoub Stadium during the first half.

Paramedics raced onto the field with play halted and the 16-cap international appearing to convulse alarmingly in a goalmouth.

League bosses issued a statement confirming that venue medical and ambulance staff had helped Coulibaly during the latest troubling incident to affect a footballer on the field of play in recent months, adding: "It may be noted that the player is currently receiving necessary medical care and attention."

The former French and Greek top-flight player's wife later took to social media to thank the public for messages of "support and love" and give an update on the right-back's condition.

"Ousmane is in a stable condition [after] his heart attack," she said. "He has regained consciousness slowly but surely. He is in very good hands.

"Many thanks to god and the doctor who saved my husband's life. Thank you to all the staff and the team of Al Wakrah. I appreciate all you did for us. Let's continue to pray."

Al-Wakrah Media Officer Mohamed Al-Sulaiti told local TV that Coulibaly's heart stopped before he was resuscitated by medics.

A reporter remarked that Coulibaly's ordeal looked "similar" to the cardiac arrest suffered by Denmark ace Christian Eriksen at Euro 2020 in June 2021.

Eriksen recently returned to training after being released from his contract with Italian side Inter Milan because of Serie A rules prohibiting the use of his implantable cardioverter-defibrillator.

"I don't know if incidents of players collapsing on the pitch increased during recent weeks or it's just because the world is more connected than ever before," the Football Qatar founder added, claiming there had been similar scenes in Indonesia, Algeria, Oman and Croatia. 

The league wished Coulibaly a speedy recovery, thanked medics for their "great efforts" and announced that the remainder of the match will be played at a later date.

Al-Rayyan will resume the game 1-0 up after taking the lead in the halted fixture.

Premier League legend Sergio Aguero and Manchester United defender Victor Lindelof are among the other high-profile players to have been forced off the field prematurely because of chest pains during the 2021-22 season so far.

Barcelona striker Aguero announced his retirement from football in December after being diagnosed with a previously undetected heart condition, and Lindelof was monitored ahead of his return to United training before contracting Covid at the end of December.

Earlier this week, 25-year-old defender Marcos Menaldo, who played for Deportivo Marquense in Guatemala, died after suffering a heart attack in training.