Footballers Who Died for Reasons Related to the World Cup
Unforeseen circumstances and cost the lives of many outstanding football players – Samuel Okwaraji, Andres Escobar, and even the national football team of Zambia.
The Tragedies Associated with the World Cup
Every little boy playing a ball in the yard dreams of becoming a great footballer and playing for the national team. To overcome the qualifying stage and achieve this goal, talent and hard work are required. The World Cup is a great celebration for football fans around the world, so some tragic incidents go unnoticed by many. The 1xBet bookmaker decided to recall several outstanding soccer players who passed away during the main football event in the world.
Samuel Okwaraji: Death of the Fighting Spirit of Nigeria
This tragedy dates back to August 12, 1989, at the selection stage before the 1990 World Cup in Italy. Okwaraji spent his youth in Europe, where he wrote a Ph.D. and played for various football clubs. In the late 1980s, a talented football player received a call from the national team of his country. On that ill-fated day, Sam’s team played against Angola. Suddenly, Okwaraji felt ill and fell to the ground. After some time, doctors ascertained the death of a football player due to an enlarged heart and extremely high blood pressure. Superstitious Nigerians refused to participate in subsequent matches. Of the further competitions for the right to participate in the World Cup in Italy, 4 Nigerian players dropped out.
A Mistake that Cost the Life of Andres Escobar
The Colombian national team famous defender, who is the namesake of the famous drug lord, was also born and raised in Medellin. It happened in 1994 when the World Cup host country was the US. Playing against the hosts of the football event, Andres Escobar made an unfortunate mistake, knocking the ball with his foot into his own net. Own goal by the Colombian player helped US footballers perk up and score again.
After losing, the Colombians flew to their homeland. A couple of weeks later, Escobar spent the evening in a restaurant. When he left, two guys went to meet him and fired 12 bullets at him. This tragedy shocked the entire football community. There is an assumption that the representatives of the criminal world bet on the victory of their team, but Andres Escobar violated their plans.
The Last Flight of the Zambian National Team
On April 28, 1993, a match was held between the national teams of Zambia and Senegal. To bring the players to Dakar, a special flight on a DHS-5 aircraft was organized by the Zambian Air Force.
A few kilometers off the coast of Gabon, control over the aircraft was lost due to engine failure, 30 people including 18 Zambian football players died in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. There are many assumptions about the cause of the crash – pilot fatigue, bad weather, and equipment failure. Although the official version says that the plane fell into the water due to a crew error, engine failure was known during the aircraft refueling. Zambian footballers were buried in a mass grave near the central stadium of Lusaka.