Ten sports personalities who succumbed to Covid-19

Monday, December 14th, 2020 00:00 |
Mohammed Hatimy.

The outbreak of coronavirus has not only impacted sporting events negatively but also claimed many lives including prominent figures. Italy, Spain and the United States are among the Western countries leading in the number of infections of the killer disease. The coronavirus pandemic has infected millions around the world with a considerable number succumbing to the virus with Kenyan sporting fraternity being no exception. Here is the list of some of the personalities who have died of the virus beginning with Kenyans, as compiled by People Daily’s CHARLES THUKU

1. Mohammed Hatimy

The former Kenya Football Federation (KFF) chairman died at a Mombasa hospital following complications of the virus.

Hatimy served as the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) Mombasa County chairperson and was at the centre of serious decision making. He was also a distinguished chairman of the party’s finance committee. He was buried on November 14 at Kikowani Cemetery as per Islam traditions.

2. Mohammed Omar

He was a former Confederation of African Football (CAF) elite match commissioner and also sat at the Kenya Football Federation (KFF) National Executive Committee (NEC).

Omar, who was popularly known as Babji, died at the Coast General Hospital after developing breathing problems.

He was among the officials who forced Fifa to call for an all-inclusive KFF elections in 2011.

Omar diligently served Kenyan football for two decades and was pivotal in the growth of the game in the Coast region.

3. Mark Mbua

The former Mombasa Golf Club (MGC) captain succumbed to the virus on April 5 after being admitted at the Coast General Hospital.

The 51-year-old who had a successful golfing career was the general manager in charge of terminals for logistics at Mitchell Cotts.

According to reports, Mbua, who exchanged his matrimonial vows with his spouse in Kigali Rwanda on November 2019, succumbed to the virus while in isolation and undergoing treatment.

Mbua had been admitted to the facility on March 30. He had served as captain of MGC between 2017 and 2018.

4. Pape Diouf

The veteran Senegalese journalist, who is a former Olympic Marseille president, died at the age of 68 due to complications from the virus.

Diouf had been hospitalised in his native Senegal and was placed under respiratory assistance after his illness became serious.

His relatives in Senegal had hoped to transfer him to France to receive further medical attention but he passed away before he was able to leave the capital Dakar. Marseille conformed his passing on with a statement posted on tweeter.

5. Mohammed Farah

He is an ex-Somalian footballer who died at North West London Hospital on March 24 after testing positive to the deadly virus. He was 59.

Somalia Football Federation (SFF) president Abdiqani Said Arab commiserated with the bereaved family on the demise of Farah who was an advisor to the Minister of Youth and Sport.

Born on February 16, 1961, Farah hailed from the city of Beledweyne, about 342 kilometres from the capital Mogadishu.  His football career started at the regional level where he represented Hiiraan a 1979 football tournament which became a platform for him to showcase his talent.

6. Goyo Benito

He was a legend of Real Madrid and was a defence stalwart who was a favourite of coaches.

Benito passed away following the illness, aged 73. He came through the ranks at Madrid and went to make 420 first-team appearances across 13 seasons.

The mustachioed defender was a six-time La Liga champion and won Copa del Rey on five occasions with Los Blancos claiming doubles in 1974-75 and 1979-80.

7. Francisco Garcia

Garcia was a Spanish football team legend who was a joy to watch on the pitch.

He died of coronavirus at the tender age of 21 having been suffering from a form of leukemia.

The youngster, who was a youth team coach at Malaga-based club Atletico Portada Alta, had unknown pre-existing health conditions which made him vulnerable to the virus than people of his age usually would be.

Spanish newspaper, Malagattoy, reported that Garcia was advised to seek further medical help after struggling to breath and was diagnosed with both corona and pneumonia.

According to medics, Garcia would have survived corona, had he not been suffering from leukemia.

8. Innocenzo Donino

He was an Italian professional footballer whose death left his relatives devastated.

Donino was a talented midfielder who left his opponents in sixes and sevens and was rated as a good ball supplier.

He was confirmed dead on March 19 in Bergamo after developing complications.

Donino’s other attribute is that he played in all the professional football leagues in Italy.

9. Arnold Sowinski

The ex-French footballer died at the age of 89, a few months after the onset of the pandemic.

He was an astute footballer who played for RC Lens and also managed the team on four occasions after retirement.

Sowinski was born in France but perhaps unbeknown to many, he was of polish descent.

10. Mohammed Kouradji

The Algerian referee died on July 9 in Constantine due to the virus.

One of the respected coaches in Algeria, Kouradji was also at the helm of the 1995-96 Algerian Cup final between MC Oran and USM Blida which the former won 1-0.

He seemed on course to recovery from corona but lost the fight aged 68.

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