There are a lot of dangerous sports in the world, and football – or soccer – is not normally considered to be one of them. The worst injuries that players typically receive on the pitch are nasty grazes, sprains or a few broken bones on rare occasions.
However, a small number of players have lost their lives on the pitch over the years. Until yesterday, four players had already died playing football this year as a result of preexisting medical conditions.
But a freak accident resulted in 38-year-old Indonesian goalkeeper Choirul Huda losing his life on live TV. The Persele goalkeeper had been playing in an Indonesia Super League match against Semen Padang.
During the first half of the match, Huda went to collect the ball, and, as he was picking it up, his teammate Ramon Rodrigues fatally collided into him at the Surajaya Stadium in Sidorejo, Lamongan, East Java.
Huda suffered severe head and neck trauma as a result of the accident, and he was pictured on live TV bent over in pain. The footage shows him suffering what appears to be blunt trauma to the head.
The legendary goalkeeper – who had played for Persela since his career began in 1999 – was given emergency treatment on the pitch by medics, but it soon became apparent that he’d suffered serious injuries.
He was rushed to the Regional General Hospital in Lamongan.
The odds of dying whilst playing football have been estimated to be 1 in 50,000.
Speaking about Hula’s condition immediately after the collision, one of the medics who attended to him said, “He was still conscious and complained of pain in the chest. Then he fell unconscious.”
The goalkeeper suffered a heart attack in the wake of the accident.
Hula was pronounced dead at the hospital at 5:15 pm. Head coach Aji Santoso announced his death on social media later that day.
The Sun reported that Huda’s doctor, Zaki Mubarok, said:
“He was just brought to the hospital still breathing, but was lifeless at around 17:00. Through our analysis was due to collision in the head and neck of the back.”
Following the freak accident – the footage of which is featured below – the game continued on. Persela won 2-0 against Semen Padang.
Head coach Aji Santoso said:
“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.”
After Hula’s career began in 1999, he played in over 500 games and was regarded as one of Indonesia’s greatest goalkeepers. He also worked as a civil servant.
Persela wrote on on Twitter, “RIP Huda. Goodbye Choirul Huda the real legend of Persela.”
Thousands of fans also took to Twitter to express their sadness a Huda’s untimely and tragic passing. Huda had been known to fans as “One Man, One Club, One Love”.
We wish all the best to Huda’s family during this extremely difficult time.