Tragic: Ghanaian Footballer Raphael Dwamena Collapses, And Dies At Age 28 During A Match In Albania.

Ghanaian footballer, Raphael Dwamena, has tragically passed away at age 28 after collapsing during an Albanian Superliga game between FK Egnatia and KF Partizani.

Dwamena was playing for Egnatia against Partizani on Saturday before the tragic incident occurred in the 23rd minute of the encounter.

In a video of the incident shared on X (formerly Twitter), the striker is seen going to the floor as both sides waited for a goal kick.

Players, officials and medical staff all rushed towards the player, as they tried to resuscitate him, with an ambulance entering the pitch seconds later before being transported to a nearest hospital in Kavaja, where he was confirmed dead.

The UK Mirror reports that the 28-year-old passed away after suffering from a fatal heart attack.

"Despite the immediate intervention of specialist doctors he unfortunately passed away," reads a statement by the Albanian Football Federation (AFL).

"The AFL expresses its deepest condolences to the Dwamena family and the Egnatia club for this great loss that has shocked the entire Albanian football community," the federation added.

 Saturday's match was later abandoned and the federation has postponed all games scheduled in Albania this week.

Raphael Dwamena began his career as a youth player at Red Bull Salzburg and went on to play for sides including FC Zurich, Levante, Real Zaragoza.

Dwamena had been playing with an Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator (ICD) fitted in October 2021, after collapsing during an Austrian Cup match between his side Blau-Weiss Linz and Hartberg due to a pre-existing heart problem, but recovered and continued his playing career.

The Ghanaian striker first became aware of the problem with his heart when a defect was discovered in 2017 after failing medical examination when he was set to join Brighton for a proposed £14m fee.

He went on to represent Levante in La Liga and also played for Real Zaragoza on loan.

Having  played in the Danish, Austrian and Swiss leagues, Dwamena joined Albanian outfit KF Egnatia in January 2023 from Swiss side BSC Old Boys, and was the current leading scorer in the Albanian league this season with nine goals.

Considered as one of Ghana's rising stars, he made his international debut in June 2017, and had earned nine caps for his country and scored two goals.

The Ghana Football Association (GFA) said it sent "our deepest condolences to his family at this difficult moment".

"He served his country well and showed class any time he represented Ghana, this is a hard news to take" GFA president Kurt Edwin Simeon Okraku said in a statement.

His former clubs have also paid tribute following the tragic news;

Swiss club FC Zurich published a black and white photo of Dwamena on their website and paid homage to their former player, saying: “Rest in peace Raphael Dwamena! You’ll always be one of our own!”

"Our thoughts are with his family and his loved ones in these difficult moments. His legacy in our club will last forever," Levante said on social media.

Zaragoza also paid tribute, saying: "We are devastated by the sad news of the passing of our former player Raphael Dwamena. You will always be in the memory of Zaragoza´s fans. Rest in peace."

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