Odisha Footballer collapses on pitch - 5 tragic on-field deaths in Indian football
Not every day do you hear news of a footballer collapsing on the pitch and dying. But, surprisingly in India, there have been a lot of instances in the recent past. On Sunday, 23-year-old law student Rittik Das collapsed on the pitch in an inter-university football match at the Sports Authority of India Eastern Centre after suffering cardiac arrest. The student was pronounced dead on arrival at the hospital.
Makhan Chothe was lucky that his team owner Ranjit Bajaj was present on the ground to perform mouth-to-mouth CPR when he was knocked down unconscious after colliding in a 2018-19 Hero Elite League match with the Reliance Foundation Young Champs goalkeeper. He would go on to score in the quarter-finals, semi-finals, and the finals to help Minerva Punjab win the tournament.
However, everyone wasn't as lucky as Makhan Chothe. Some fell victim to the incompetent medical facilities in the ground and had to endure the same dreadful fate as that of Rittik Das. On that note, here are five on field tragic deaths in Indian football.
#5 Sanjib Dutta- 1993 Santosh Trophy, Railways vs Andhra Pradesh
The first recorded account of on-field death in Indian football dates back to 1993 when Sanjib Dutta collapsed on the ground after trying to net in a goal in Kannur. He was rushed soon to the hospital but pronounced dead on arrival.
The Railways team won the match but found it difficult to celebrate as they heard the news of his death. Speaking to Telegraph India, his teammate recalled the night of the tragic accident.
"What a day it was! We were leading by an Arup Srimani goal in that crucial match against Andhra Pradesh. I was waiting for my turn on the bench when suddenly there was a clash as Raja attempted a header. He fell to the ground and was later rushed to the hospital. We won that match but later found out that he had died. Imagine my feelings when I had to bring his body back to Calcutta."