Three passed away during training, one died while warming up before a game and another died in the middle of a match. All four were under 30 years of age at the time of their death. (Related: 'Puzzling' surge in heart disease among soccer players is a 'coincidence,' media reports.)
Omani player Mukhaled Al-Raqadi died on Dec. 22, 2021 during a pregame warm-up. The 29-year-old Muscat FC player collapsed ahead of his team's match with rival Al-Suwaiq FC. He was rushed to a nearby hospital, but died shortly after arriving.
According to the Oman Observer, medical reports cited heart attack as the reason for Al-Raqadi's death. A statement by the club said: "Muscat Sports Club and all related to it extend their sincerest condolences to the Al-Raqadi family."
Egyptian player Ahmed Amin also died on Dec. 22, following sudden cardiac arrest. The goalkeeper for the Egyptian Third Division's Al Rebat & Al Anwar SC joined training on that day. Amin then headed to the locker room, where he fell unconscious.
The club's medical team tried to revive him to no avail. Amin was brought to the nearest hospital, but doctors said the goalkeeper was already dead and nothing could be done. The 24-year-old's cause of death was sudden cardiac arrest, King Fut reported.
Algerian player Soufiane Loukar tragically died on Christmas Day during a soccer match at the city of Oran. The 28-year-old from the MC Saida club was hurt after running into his goalkeeper during the team's match with ASM Oran. Loukar received medical treatment, but collapsed around 10 minutes after.
The MC Saida captain was rushed to a hospital for treatment, but died of a heart attack while in transit. Both teams abandoned the match when news of Loukar's passing broke out, according to a Reuters report.
Croatian defender Marin Cacic died in the hospital due to heart failure days after collapsing. The 23-year-old who plays for NK Nehaj Senj, fell unconscious during a Dec. 20 training session. Cacic was immediately rushed to the hospital for medical treatment, where he was diagnosed with heart failure.
The player was then put in a comatose state, with doctors exerting their best efforts to save Cacic's life. Unfortunately, Cacic was pronounced dead on Dec. 23. His club NK Nehaj Senj confirmed his death in a social media post.
Guatemalan player Marcos Menaldo is the most recent casualty of cardiac issues among soccer stars. The 25-year-old defender for Deportivo Marquense complained of breathing difficulties during a training session in the morning of Jan. 3. He initially received emergency CPR at the club's home stadium in San Marcos, Guatemala.
Menaldo was then transferred to the Hospital de Especialidades where he died. Marquense President Hernan Maldonado said: "It was around 11:00 [a.m.] that they called me to inform that Marcos had fainted in training. They transferred him to the assistance center where they did everything possible. But unfortunately, the death was confirmed."
The sudden deaths of soccer players have not gone unnoticed. Several retired players have taken to social media to point out the possible role of the COVID-19 vaccines.
Player-turned-commentator Trevor Sinclair tweeted on Dec. 12 that there was "nothing to see here" with regard to the injuries and deaths affecting players. His tweet came amid Manchester United defender Victor Lindelof being forced to leave a game after complaining of chest pain. Lindelof was fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Another retired player, Matt Le Tissier, also took to Twitter to voice out his take on Lindelof's situation. "Amazing that another footballer comes off complaining about his heart, and yet the media refuse to mention even the slightest hint that it just 'could' be the thing that can't be named," his Dec. 12 tweet read. (Related: More vaccinated soccer players fall ill with sudden chest pains; incidents linked to COVID-19 vaccines.)
The previous month, Le Tissier also commented on John Fleck suffering a heart attack while on the pitch. Back in November, the midfielder for Sheffield United fell to the ground and had to be taken out of the stadium on a stretcher. Le Tissier asked: "How many more sports people need to collapse on the pitch before an investigation takes place?"
Watch the video below showing another vaccinated soccer player collapsing on the pitch.
This video is from The Prisoner channel on Brighteon.com.
VaccineDeaths.com has more about vaccinated soccer players worldwide dying of cardiac arrest.