Argentine soccer was rocked by its second on-the-field tragedy this month with the death of Atletico Parana player Cristian Gomez of a heart attack.
The 27-year-old defender collapsed shortly after the half-hour mark of Sunday’s second division game at Boca Unidos and died at a nearby hospital, TyC Sports of Argentina reported.
Argentina’s Football Association (AFA) released a statement claiming that Boca’s Stadium had the required defibrillator, which team doctors reportedly opted not to use on Gomez as they were treating him on the field.
Parana is facing additional criticism following statements made by Ariel Bulay, a teammate of Gomez who told TV station La Red, via La Nacion, that Gomez’s last physical exam came back with irregularities.
“He [Gomez] told me there was something wrong with his electrocardiogram. Ivan [his brother] said it was something normal, that he always tested that way.”
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Gomez’s death comes just weeks after Emanuel Ortega, of fouth division club San Martin de Burzaco, was pushed from behind by an opponent and smashed head-first into a concrete pillar. He died a few days later, May 7, in the hospital of a fractured skull.
Argentina suspended all professional soccer games that weekend in the wake of Ortega’s death.
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