Royal Antwerp youngster Joel Lobanzo has died aged 17 after suffering a cardiac arrest, the club has confirmed.
The Belgian side announced the Joel Lobanzo news on Thursday via their official website (h/t The Sun‘s Andrew Richardson).
Lobanzo suffered the cardiac arrest while training with the under-19 side on Tuesday night and was subsequently transferred to a hospital, where he remained in critical condition before being pronounced dead on Thursday.
We discovered this terrible news that Joel Lobanzo, a 17-year-old youth player from RAFC, died last night,” the club statement said.
“The young football player had become a victim of 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 on Thursday.
“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. Over the next few days, this will be the case. This is further communicated internally.
“For respect for Joel Lobanzo 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 in serenity. We convey our deepest feelings of compassion to Joel’s family and friends.”