Brazilian footballer Alex Apolinário, who was fighting for his life in hospital after suffering cardiac arrest and collapsing during a match between his team Alverca and Almeirim on Sunday, has died.
The tragic news was confirmed by the club today (Thursday).
“It is with great sadness that we communicate the death of our athlete Alex Sandro dos Santos Apolinário this morning,” it said in an official statement, after information provided by the medical staff at Vila Franca de Xira Hospital.
The club added: “FC Alverca Futebol SAD will provide all the necessary support to the family. At this time of mourning, all FC Alverca activities have been cancelled.”
The 24-year-old footballer collapsed on the pitch at the 27th minute of the match. Realising the seriousness of the situation, players and staff immediately called for help.
It was reported that Apolinário’s brain was deprived of oxygen for “over six minutes” while firefighters tried to revive him, which they did after multiple times.
However, the brain damage caused was ultimately too severe.
The Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) has announced that one minute’s silence will be observed before every match under its watch between this Thursday and Sunday as a tribute to the athlete.