Ghanaian football player, Raphael Dwamena, who was also a former forward for Real Zaragoza, RB Salzburg Zürich and Levante has passed away at the age of 28 during a football match on November 11, 2023.
During the match – a KF Egnatia league match in the Albanian First Tier National Football Super League against Partizani, Raphael Dwamena collapsed in the 23rd minute of the game due to a cardiac arrest; he was quickly rushed to the Kavajë Hospital, unable to recover from his ailment.
The 28-year-old began his professional football career with Austrian football club, Red Bull Salzburg where he was unable to make his debut there from 2014 to 2016.
As a result, he was loaned to another Austrian club, Liefering, where he made 27 appearances and scored 6 goals.
Following his transfer from Austria Lustenau to FC Zurich in 2017, Dwamena enjoyed tremendous success in his career, scoring 21 goals in 51 games.
Dwamena’s struggles with his heart condition first came to light in August 2017, when a proposed transfer to English club Brighton & Hove Albion fell through after failing a medical examination during the current Black Stars’ coach, Chris Hughton’s time with the club.
In October 2019, Doctors strongly recommended Dwamena’s immediate withdrawal and retirement from football following additional testing related to his heart condition.
The tough striker decided to go against the advice, despite the gravity of his condition, and instead had an implanted cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) in January 2020.
Dwamena’s heart condition and unsettling measurements prevented him from playing for a while, as the Danish club Vejle in October 2020. Dwamena’s final game for Vejle was announced by the sporting director of the club in November 2020.
His on-field collapse during an Austrian Cup match against TSV Hartberg in 2021 made for a concerning event, after which he made a full recovery in the hospital and was let go by the club.
Following the incident, the Ghana Football Association (GFA) paid tribute to the former Black Stars striker in a statement, where it expressed its condolences to Dwamena’s family, describing him as a dedicated player who represented Ghana wholeheartedly.
“Our thoughts are with the family of Raphael Dwamena at this difficult time,” the statement read.
“Raphael represented Ghana wholeheartedly and paid his dues to the country until his unfortunate passing. We will forever miss him for his dedication to the national cause.”
In an African Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifying match against Ethiopia in 2017, Dwamena made his debut for his country, scoring a brace. He made nine appearances for the national team and scored two goals in total.
Story by: Asack Pius | univers.ug.edu.gh