On-field collision claims goalkeeper's life

Medical staff rush the stricken Choirul Huda off the pitch on a stretcher after the Persela goalkeeper was injured in a mid-match collision with his team-mate, Brazilian midfielder Ramon Rodrigues, at Surajaya Lamongan stadium in Surabaya, East Java.
Medical staff rush the stricken Choirul Huda off the pitch on a stretcher after the Persela goalkeeper was injured in a mid-match collision with his team-mate, Brazilian midfielder Ramon Rodrigues, at Surajaya Lamongan stadium in Surabaya, East Java.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
A hearse carrying the body of goalkeeper Choirul Huda, 38. Doctors said he stopped breathing and suffered a heart attack after the on-field collision.
A hearse carrying the body of goalkeeper Choirul Huda, 38. Doctors said he stopped breathing and suffered a heart attack after the on-field collision.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

JAKARTA • Indonesian football was in mourning yesterday after celebrated goalkeeper Choirul Huda died following an on-pitch collision with a team-mate.

Huda, 38, a long-time regular for his hometown club Persela in East Java, collapsed just before half-time after Sunday's accidental clash in the Indonesia Liga 1 - the top football league in the country - with Brazilian midfielder Ramon Rodrigues.

Rodrigues' knee had accidentally collided with Huda's chest in the incident, said the club's media officer Andika Hangga Pramana.

Video footage showed Huda clutching his chest in pain before he was rushed away on a stretcher and taken to hospital.

Doctors said he stopped breathing and suffered a heart attack.

"He received emergency treatment for a few minutes in the hospital but he could not be saved. He died before 5pm yesterday," Persela's assistant coach Yuhronur Efendi told AFP.

Doctors said the medical team tried to revive Huda, a former fringe player in the national set-up, for about an hour.

"Choirul Huda suffered from traumatic collision with a team-mate which caused him to stop breathing and have cardiac arrest," Yudistiro Andri Nugroho, a doctor from Lamongan hospital, said in a statement.

Nugroho added that Huda suffered possible neck and head trauma from the impact to his chest and lower jaw after he dived at the feet of onrushing players.

His team-mates went straight to the hospital after their 2-0 win over Semen Padang and supporters later went to his house with candles, according to local media reports.

Persela paid tribute to Huda, who had played for the team on more than 500 occasions since 1999.

Thousands of fans also took to social media in memory of Huda, known to Persela supporters as "One Man, One Club, One Love".

According to the team's Instagram page, the club will retire the No. 1 jersey worn by Huda.

Fifa has also conveyed its condolences, posting a picture of the late player accompanied by the tweet: "Tragic news in Indonesia today, after popular goalkeeper Choirul Huda passed away following an on-field collision. Our sincere condolences to Choirul's family and his club and fans in Indonesia."

The player was buried on Sunday evening in Pagerwojo cemetery near his house on Jalan Basuki Rahmat in Lamongan.

He leaves behind a wife and two children.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS, ASIA NEWS NETWORK/THE JAKARTA POST

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 17, 2017, with the headline 'On-field collision claims goalkeeper's life'. Print Edition | Subscribe