Turkish side Besiktas say their 31-year-old Congolese defender Fabrice N’Sakal is “doing much better” after he was rushed to hospital after collapsing on the pitch in the 70th minute of a Super Lig match with Gaziantep.
N’Sakala fell to the turf unchallenged and while the ball was in play on the other side of the pitch midway through the second half in Saturday’s match between the two Turkish sides, prompting frantic officials and players to storm the pitch to administer first aid to the stricken player.
The cause of the frightening incident is not yet clear, however Besiktas officials have since confirmed that the player is alert and conscious in hospital and that he has made contact with his teammates.
“The Congolese international left-back was taken to the hospital immediately,” a statement issued by the Turkish giants read Sunday.
“The early reports have shown that he is in better condition and doing quite well. Besiktas have thanked those football lovers who have shown concern.”
The incident comes just two months after Denmark’s Christian Eriksen suffered a dramatic on-field collapse during a Euro 2020 fixture with Finland in Copenhagen. It was later revealed that the Inter Milan playmaker had suffered cardiac arrest but was revived on the pitch and subsequently taken to hospital where he was successfully treated.
N’Sakala’s own collapse, though, is the latest in an ever-growing list of professional footballers who have experienced similar situations during games.
In 2012, former Bolton Wanderers midfielder Fabrice Muamba collapsed during an FA Cup tie against Tottenham Hotspur and was technically ‘dead’ for a period of 78 minutes before he was revived. He retired from football shortly afterwards at the age of just 24.
However, the sport has also experienced several dark days including situations in which Spanish midfielder Antonio Puerto, Ivorian player Cheick Tiote and Hungary striker Miklos Fehrer passed away shortly after experiencing emergency medical situations during games or training.