YAOUNDÉ: The funeral of Cameroon international Patrick Ekeng, who died earlier this month playing for his club Dinamo Bucharest, was held in Yaounde on Sunday (Monday in Manila).
Several hundred people, including Cameroon’s minister for sport and physical education, Pierre Ismael Bidoung Mpatt, attended the service at the player’s family home in Yaounde.
“Nobody can take away the life of my son, other than God who created him. God lent me Patrick, now he has taken him away,” said Ekeng’s mother Celine. “I am proud to have had him as a son.”
Ekeng’s body arrived in Yaounde on Saturday evening and several hundred people attended a wake for the player overnight.
The 26-year-old collapsed to the ground seven minutes after coming on as a substitute in a Romanian league game against Viitorul Constanta last Friday.
He was rushed to hospital where staff were unable to resuscitate him.
An autopsy in Bucharest later revealed that he was suffering from “serious heart problems”.
Before arriving in Romania, Ekeng played for several European clubs, spending four seasons with French Ligue 2 side Le Mans from 2009 to 2013.
The player then moved to Lausanne in Switzerland from 2013-2014 and Spanish side Cordoba from 2014-2015 before joining Dinamo.
Ekeng made his debut for Cameroon in January 2015 and was named in the squad for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations from which the Indomitable Lions were eliminated in the group stage.
His death echoed that of his countryman Marc-Vivien Foe, who died of a heart attack in 2003 playing a Confederations Cup match against Colombia at the Stade de Gerland in Lyon, France.