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Former Highlanders player dies while playing social match

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  • “After controlling the ball with his chest, he knelt down while holding his chest, showing that he was in pain. Play stopped and when they attended to him, he was moving his hands like a person with fits..."

FORMER Highlanders’ fringe player Mbuso Mandiopera died during a social football match at Esilwane Youth Centre in Pumula suburb on Sunday.

According to Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube, Mandiopera died after chesting the ball, while featuring for his side Santos against a Cowdray Park side.

“We are investigating a case of sudden death. We received a report that a 35-year-old male adult Mbuso Mandiopera of Pumula North died while playing social soccer at Esilwane Youth Centre on Sunday, June 6.

“After controlling the ball with his chest, he knelt down while holding his chest, showing that he was in pain. Play stopped and when they attended to him, he was moving his hands like a person with fits.

“A report was made to the police (and) an ambulance was summoned and the crew confirmed Mandiopera’s death upon arrival. His body was taken to United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) for postmortem,” said Ncube.

Mbuso Mandiopera seen here in action

Mandiopera’s death came at a time football activity in the lower league tiers, including social matches, are suspended due to Covid-19.

Mandiopera made his mark at Bosso as a key member of the Under-19 squad that had the likes of Patrick ‘Mboma’ Mpofu, Graham Ncube, Nhlanhla ‘Mookie’ Dube, Innocent Nyoni (former Black Mambas goalkeeper and midfielder), the late Sifiso Nketha, Obidiah Tarumbwa, Zephaniah Ngodzo, Marshall Machazane, Brighton Dube, Brighton Choto and Thomas Muketiwa, two decades ago.

In 2015, former Highlanders, Masvingo United and Njube Sundowns midfielder Maphias Webb collapsed and died during a social game at Bango grounds in Mpopoma suburb. – Chronicle

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