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Soccer Player Dies on Field After Being Struck by Ball

A 25-year-old Croatian soccer player died on the field Saturday after being struck by the ball in the chest, less than 10 minutes after the game started.

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NK Marsonia forward Bruno Boban was hit by the ball during a game against Slavonija Pozega on Saturday. He continued standing, even jogging on the pitch for seven seconds after the hit. But he then suddenly collapsed, notes USA Today.

The players around him stood still while a referee called for medical personnel. According to The Sun, they spent 40 minutes trying to revive him, but were unsuccessful.

An autopsy on Boban later determined that he died of heart failure, reports 24 SATA, a news outlet in Croatia.

"The Croatian Football Association, on behalf of the entire football family, expresses sympathy with Boban's family, his teammates, and the supporters of the Marsonia clubs and Internacional Kutjevo for this unforgivable loss," the Croatian Football Federation said in a statement.

The team later paid tribute to Boban on Facebook. All players and coaches "express deep condolences to the family for this tragic loss."

Boban was among the top scorers in Coatia's third-tier league. His brother, Gabriel Boban, is also a soccer player in Croatia.

This is the latest tragedy to happen on a soccer field. According to The Sun, 32-year-old amateur soccer player Mitchell Joseph collapsed during a match in Swansea, Wales earlier this year. His teammates tried to save him with CPR, but he later died at the hospital.

There have been at least seven deaths of league players in the past year. In November, 17-year-old Royal Antwerp player Joel Lobanzo collapsed during a training session and died the following night. Doctors said he suffered a cardiac arrest.

"The young man remained in critical condition for more than one day, but sadly died during the night from Wednesday to Thursday," Royal Antwerp said in a statement, reports ESPN. "At the time of this tragic event, some tens of young people were present in the training fields. For all witnesses of this awful incident -- both fellow players, trainers and youth workers -- the club has provided shelter and support since yesterday."

In basketball, Zeke Upshaw collapsed on the court during a game between the Grand Rapids Drive and Long Island Nets of the NBA G League. He reportedly suffered a cardiac arrest.

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"Zeke was transported to Spectrum Hospital after collapsing on the court in the closing seconds of last night's game and is currently under physicians care," the Drive said in a statement. "Out of respect to Zeke and his family, further updates will be provided when available."

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