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Former Ghana striker Raphael Dwamena dies after collapsing during Albanian Super League soccer game

Nov 12, 2023, 11:05 AM | Updated: 11:07 am

United States' Kellyn Acosta, left, and Matt Hedges, right, pressure Ghana's Raphael Dwamena, cente...

United States' Kellyn Acosta, left, and Matt Hedges, right, pressure Ghana's Raphael Dwamena, center, during the first half of an international friendly soccer match at Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field, Saturday, July 1, 2017, in East Hartford, Conn. Former Ghana striker Raphael Dwamena has died after collapsing Saturday, Nov. 11, 2023, during an Albanian Super League soccer match. (Jessica Hill, Associated Press)

(Jessica Hill, Associated Press)

TIRANA, Albania (AP) — Former Ghana striker Raphael Dwamena has died after collapsing Saturday during an Albanian Super League soccer match.

The Albanian Football Federation confirmed the death of the 28-year-old Dwamena.

Footage on social media appeared to show the player by himself and falling over on the field in the 24th minute of the match between Dwamena’s Egnatia and Partizani.

Other players rushed over and, despite immediate medical intervention, the federation said “the player unfortunately passed away.”

The game was halted at 1-1 with no further play.

Dwamena, this season’s top scorer with nine goals in the Albanian Super League, made eight appearances for Ghana and scored twice.

“ The Ghana Football Association is sad to hear of the death of our former player Raphael Dwamena and wish to express our deepest condolences to his family at this difficult moment,” it said in a statement.

No details over a possible cause were given by the Albanian federation but local media reports focused on the player’s previous heart problems, including one game in 2021 with Austria’s Blau-Veis Linz when he was hospitalized with heart problems.

Dwamena’s career also included stints in Spain, Denmark and Switzerland.

The Brazilian coach of the Albanian national team, Sylvinho, said on social media: “Rest in peace. Condolences to family and friends.”

Spanish clubs Levante and Zaragoza expressed condolences over the death of their former player.

Dwamena signed for Levante in 2018 and played one season before being loaned out to Zaragoza, where he played in 2019-20.

“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 X, the social media platform formerly know as Twitter.

Zaragoza said on X: “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.”


Associated Press writer Joseph Wilson in Barcelona, Spain, contributed to this report.

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Former Ghana striker Raphael Dwamena dies after collapsing during Albanian Super League soccer game