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TRAGEDY struck during a ZIFA Harare Division Three league match on Sunday when midfielder Eliah Munyaradzi collapsed and later died.

Munyaradzi, who was a player for Epworth-based Muguta FC, had come onto the field as a second-half substitute and died at Manyame Airbase.

Born on 27 May, 1998, Munyaradzi was one of the up-and-coming players at the club where he featured in cameo roles as a linkman.

Muguta were playing JP Produce in a league match at Butler Farm, just a few a kilometres from Manyame Airbase Hospital, where Munyaradzi was pronounced dead on arrival.

Munyaradzi was buried at his rural home in Zaka on Wednesday, following a funeral service at his parents’ home in Epworth.

The club’s director Joseph Bero said the team was still in a state of shock.

“He came in as a substitute in the second-half. I believe he made five passes before he went down unchallenged,” said Bero.

“After his fifth touch he then sat down.

“He remained on the ground for nearly two minutes while action was going on and fans started whistling until the referee stopped play.”

The Muguta’s team medic helped Munyaradzi to the touchline where he then collapsed.

“Our medic tried some first aid and we then rushed him to the nearest medical centre, which is at Manyame.

“Unfortunately, the doctors at the camp hospital told us that he was dead. We are still in a state of shock up to now,” said Bero.

The match between Muguta and JP ended in a 1-1 draw.

Bero said his club will try to win most of their games and gain promotion into Division Two by the end of the season.

“Now we have to try and fight for promotion so that we fulfil Munyaradzi’s dream. He was a dedicated player, who had been with us since he came from the juniors.

“It’s understood that he had some sort of flu which deteriorated into meningitis,” said Bero.

In 2002, a Blue Swallows player, Tawanda Elisha Chikuni died after collapsing during a league game.

Former CAPS United and Fire Batteries goalkeeper, Elwyn Mushangazhike, also collapsed during a match and later died during match.

Sportszone

Source : The Herald

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