By Ayeotan Shola
Its a sad day in the family of Nigerian defender David Faramola Oniya today as he slumped and died on the pitch after just few minutes into a local friendly in Malaysia on Saturday.
Oniya, 30, went down about three minutes into the game for T-Team and was pronounced dead at hospital around half-an-hour later, the club’s chief executive told The Star newspaper.
“The game had just started for about two or three minutes. Suddenly, he collapsed,” Kelantan player Amiridzwan Taj Tajuddin said when interviewed after the frightening happening.
Everyone was “shocked and sad” over the tragedy, explained Amiridzwan, 29, who had just signed for the club during the March transfer window.
Nigerian football player of Premier League side T-Team died after he collapsed on the field during a friendly game against Super League side Kelantan on Saturday.
“He was pronounced dead at the hospital about 30 minutes later,” said Syahrizan from Kota Baru.
CEO Syahrizan Mohd Zain said Oniya, who was in his first season with second-tier T-Team, had barely touched the ball in the friendly with Super League side Kelantan in Kota Bharu.
“There was no hard running and it was a slow tempo match. It’s only a friendly game,” Syahrizan was quoted as saying.
“The match was called off in the 60th minute when we received a call from the hospital that Oniya had died.”
Deaths on the pitch, often from heart failure, are not unheard of and Belgium lost two players in two weeks in late April and May.
The most pronounced case was that of Cameroon midfielder Marc-Vivien Foe, who also went down while playing a Confederations Cup semi-final against Colombia in Lyon in 2003.