Ghanaian soccer star Raphael Dwamena dies on field during match

Soccer star Raphael Dwamena collapsed and died Saturday during a match. Photo by STR/EPA-EFE

Nov. 12 (UPI) -- Ghana soccer star Raphael Dwamena has died after an on-field collapse during a match Saturday. He was 28.

"Raphael represented Ghana wholeheartedly and paid his dues to the country until his unfortunate passing. We will forever miss him for his dedication to the National Coarse. Rest In Peace Raphael," the club said in a statement.

Dwamena, who was the leading scorer in the Albanian league with nine goals this season, was a striker for Egnatia, which was playing against Partizani when he collapsed on the field, the BBC and CNN reported.

There have been no official details, but video shows Dwamena collapsing in the 24th minute of Saturday's match when players rushed to his side. An ambulance came on the field as Dwamena was attended to by medical personnel.

Players from both sides rushed to his side and medical personnel tended to Dwamena on the field, but were not able to resuscitate him.

"Despite the immediate intervention of specialist doctors he unfortunately passed away," a statement from the Albanian Football Federation (AFL) said.

Dwamena was the leading scorer in the Albanian league this season with nine goals. The federation canceled Saturday's match and postponed all games that were scheduled to be played in Albania this week.

"The AFL expresses its deepest condolences to the Dwamena family and the Egnatia club for this great loss that has shocked the entire Albanian football community," the federation added.

The Ghana Football Association (GFA) expressed its "deepest condolences to his family at this difficult moment" in a statement.

"He served his country well and showed class any time he represented Ghana," GFA president Kurt Edwin Simeon Okraku said.

This was not the first on-field medical emergency the young star experienced.

Dwamena collapsed during a 2021 cup match in Austria but recovered and continued his playing career after a recovery that included a heart operation and had an automatic defibrillator implanted.

He would have been traded to Brighton in a deal worth more than $14 million but failed a medical examination.

He went on to play for clubs in Spain, Switzerland, Austria and Denmark throughout his short career.

"Our thoughts are with his family and his loved ones in these difficult moments," Levante, where Dwamena also played, said in a social media post. "His legacy in our club will last forever."

Zaragoza also paid tribute. "We are devastated by the sad news of the passing of our former player Raphael Dwamena," the club said in a statement. "You will always be in the memory of Zaragoza´s fans. Rest in peace."