Indonesian football has been rocked by the passing of one its most iconic players, Choirul Huda, during an on-field collision with a team-mate.
The 38-year-old, who had played his entire career at Indonesia Super League outfit Persela, collided with defender Ramon Rodrigues towards the end of the first half against Semen Padang.
The goalkeeper rushed off his line to smother an attacking move from the opposition, but was unable to avoid his defender who was rushing back to clear his lines.
The keeper was still conscious immediately after the incident, holding his cheeks and looking dazed on the floor, but the situation soon became critical.
‘He was still conscious and complained of pain in the chest,’ one member of the medical team told Surya. ‘Then he fell unconscious.’
Medics tended to Huda after the collision and rushed to put him on a stretcher before he was driven away in an ambulance to the Regional General Hospital in Lamongan.
Huda was declared dead at 5pm local time, surrounded by the Persela squad who were with him at the hospital.
Persela head coach Aji Santoso confirmed afterwards that he had died at hospital and said his passing had impacted the team hugely.
‘All of the players finished the game and went to the hospital, where it was announced that Choirul Huda had died.
‘The loss of Choirul Huda has hit us all hard. We did not have time to a see a doctor, only to see his body.’
Dr Zaki Mubarok, of the Lamongan General Hospital, said: ‘He was just brought to the hospital still breathing, but he was lifeless at around 17:00.
‘Through our analysis, it was due to collision in the head and neck.’
The keeper was a hugely popular figure in Lamongan. Having hailed from the region, he made his debut for Persela in 1999 and then became a regular fixture between the sticks.