Antwerp teenager Joel Lobanzo dies after collapsing in training

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Royal Antwerp have revealed that youth team player Joel Lobanzo has died after collapsing in training.

Lobanzo, 17, suffered a cardiac arrest during a U-19 training session on Tuesday evening and has since passed away.

In a statement on the club website, the Belgian top-flight side revealed their shock after Lobanzo was treated on the training pitch and then transferred to hospital where he had remained in a critical condition.

Below is the statement in full from Antwerp.

We discovered this terrible news that Joel Lobanzo, a seventeen-year-old youth player from RAFC, died last night. The young football player had become a victim of sudden sudden cardiac arrest during the training of the U19 on Tuesday night. The medical supervisor and trainers who were in the vicinity of the player immediately started the resuscitation, after which the MUG team transferred the player to the UZA in critical condition. The young man remained in critical condition for more than one day, but died.

At the time of this tragic event, some tens of young people were present in the training fields. For all witnesses of this awful incident – both fellow players, trainers and youth workers – the club has provided shelter and support since yesterday. The next few days will be the case. This is further communicated internally.

From respect for Joel and his family, the club wishes to limit communication. We strongly urge the media not to bother the family and friends. A time of mourning breaks, which we want to spend all serenity. We convey our deepest feelings of compassion to Joel’s family and friends.