A 26-year-old player died after allegedly suffering a cardiac arrest while playing football at St. Sebastian High School ground in Dadar on Thursday. The police said that around 7.30 pm, Scott D’Souza collapsed and fell on the ground.
“He was rushed to Hinduja hospital by his friends, where he was declared brought dead before admission. He was then shifted to KEM hospital for postmortem examination,” said Senior Inspector Diwakar Shelke of Dadar police station.
During the match, D’Souza, a resident of Peace Heaven Society in Dadar, had complained of breathing problems, said police. He is survived by his mother and younger brother. He had represented India at a five-a-side tournament organised in China in 2017 and participated in Neymar Junior’s tournament in Brazil in 2018.
While the police have lodged a case of accidental death report, a forensic expert from KEM hospital said a final decision on the cause of death has been reserved and D’Souza’s samples sent for histopathology. “It seems to be a case of cardiac arrest. Nothing suspicious or unnatural came up during the autopsy,” the doctor said.
Shelke said no foul play is suspected as CCTV cameras installed near the grounds clearly show D’Souza collapsing near the goalpost. “We will start calling other players who were with him at the time of the incident and his family members for recording of their statements,” he added.
D’Souza’s friends said that they will remember him as a “clinical striker” who would score goals from different angles. D’Souza, who completed his schooling from Don Bosco in Matunga, started his career with Central Bank, after which he played for several elite division clubs such as Union Bank and Air India.
His friend Mervin Stephen said that two months ago, D’Souza had lost his father to a heart attack.
Gordon Fernandes, who co-owned a football club with D’Souza, said: “His father had started a club two-and-a-half years ago called ‘Cecilians’, named after his daughter Cecilia. We played last on Tuesday together. He was always so fit, we never imagined such a thing could happen.”
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