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After Foe: Tragedy Hit Cameroon Football Again, 2 Footballers Die On Separate Pitches 

By Leocadia Bongben & Etienne Mainimo Mengjochristelle

Soccer fans in Cameroon are in a state of shock and melancholy following the tragic death of Patrick Ekeng Ekeng on May 6 during a championship match between his club, Dinamo Bucarest and Viitoul Constanta.
As mourners were still struggling to dry their tears, death struck again on Sunday, May 8, this time snatching a female footballer, Jeanine Christelle Djomnang, a player of Femina Stars of “Ebolowa.

Djomnang met her demise while defending the colours of her team in a match counting for the sixth day of play in the local Female Division I Championship against Louves Minproff.

While still waiting for an official statement from medics on what may have precipitated her sudden death, officials of the Cameroon Football Federation have sent their condolences to the bereaved family.
Meanwhile, the family and friends of Patrick Ekeng Ekeng who died during a championship match between his club, Dinamo Bucarest and Viitoul Constanta say the midfielder did not want to play because he was feeling very tired before the game, but was forced to play by his coach.

“He told his best friend that he was very tired and was not going to play, but his coach insisted that he should play,” Monique Chantal, Ekeng’s elder sister told The Post.
Monique Chantal holds fun memories of her brother. “Patrick was very generous, a gentleman. It is very painful he is leaving behind a family; it is like a dream and a nightmare.”

Coach Onana, who groomed Ekeng from his third division club, Sao-Paolo to professional level says, “He was a child who never disturbed, calm and had no problem”.
Recalling Marc Vivien Foe, who also died in 2003 during a Confederations match, Onana said, “I saw images similar to that of Marc Vivien Foe, it is sad, I never cry even when a relation dies, but I did for Ekeng”.

Celine Chembi, Ekeng’s mother was attending a funeral in the village when her son passed on and only received the news through a phone call.
Chembi the sister to the deceased says Ekeng was chosen among others and made a professional, but it is the will of God that he died. “If this is football and the life of professional players, then this calls for reflection,” Chembi said.

Ekeng last spoke to the mother on Thursday before she travelled to the village. They talked about the ongoing construction works on his house. “We did speak every day, but because I was in the village he sent someone to see me and was to call when I come back”.

The mother who had a close bond with the son narrated how Ekeng became responsible at the age of 20. “I was close to my son, and every time he called me, I felt something special. He was confident, obedient, calm and sociable. One day he confided in me that he wanted to get a wife, we did everything possible to find him a wife and his wedding was wonderful”, she told The Post.

Meanwhile, the club is making arrangements for the repatriation of Ekeng’s corpse.
The 26- year-old midfielder, died after collapsing on the pitch at the 70th minute. According to reports, the Cameroonian international is suspected to have had a heart attack.
He was rushed to the Floreasca Emergency Hospital in Bucharest; but doctors could not rescue him as he died two hours later.

Claude Patrick Ekeng was born on May 2, 1990 in Yaounde. After playing in Canon FC from 2008 to 2009, he joined Le Mans in France. In 2013, he played for Lausanne FC in Switzerland. In the summer of 2014, he moved over to Cordoba in Spain; the club was relegated to the second division at the end of the 2015 season.

In January 2016, Ekeng signed for Dinamo Bucharest in Romania; before his death four days after celebrating his 26th birthday.

Ekeng was vice-champion of African U-20 Youth Championship in 2009. In November 2014, he was called up to the Cameroon National team in the qualifiers of the 2015 AFCON against DRC.
Meanwhile, there are reports that police are investigating Ekeng’s death, but the Professional Footballers Association; FIFPRO has criticized Romania for being thrifty with medical facilities.

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