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Former Black Stars striker Raphael Dwamena has passed away at the age of 28 after he suffered a cardiac arrest during a league match in Albania on Saturday.
The incident occurred in the 23rd minute of KF Egnatia’s game against Partizani, and despite attempts to revive him, the efforts proved futile. He died on the way to the hospital.
Dwamena’s untimely death has sent shockwaves across the football fraternity, particularly in his native Ghana.
Partizani, the club Dwamena was playing against, expressed condolences, stating, “The Partizani Club, President Demi, and the entire red family express their sincerest condolences to the family and the Egnatia Club for the death of striker Raphael Dwamena. We join your pain at this tragic moment for all Albanian football.”
The striker had a history of heart issues, having been diagnosed with a heart condition in 2017. Despite playing with an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) Dwamena faced challenges, collapsing multiple times during games.
His ordeal led to his release from Austrian club Blau-Weiss Linz in 2021 after collapsing during a cup match.
Dwamena’s football journey included a notable stint with FC Zürich, where he made an immediate impact by scoring 12 goals in 18 matches, helping the club secure promotion to the Swiss Super League.
A proposed move to Premier League club Brighton & Hove Albion in 2017 fell through due to a failed medical attributed to his heart condition. Subsequently, he signed with La Liga side Levante UD in 2018.
Despite recommendations for immediate withdrawal and retirement from football in 2019 following further examinations of his heart condition, Dwamena persevered, having an ICD implemented in January 2020. He began his club career at Liefering and also played for Vejle BK and Levante.
Dwamena’s international career saw him make his debut in 2017 during an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Ethiopia, where he scored a brace. In total, he scored two goals in nine appearances for the national team.