Wellington, July 30 (ANI): A former Premier League footballer has died a day after playing a match for a Qatari club, according to his team.
According to Stuff.co.nz, Ecuador striker Christian Benitez' death followed a match between his club El Jaish and Qatar Sports on Sunday during the Sheik Jassim Cup, a warm-up tournament for the upcoming football season.
The report further said that the 27-year-old Benitez, who moved from Mexican club America to play in Qatar this year and had also spent a season in England with Birmingham, was in the lineup, adding that the match was played in hot and humid conditions, which are typical of the Persian Gulf at this time of year.
Offering condolences to the bereaved family, however, El Jaish issued a statement that Benitez, who had participated for the first time with the team during the Sunday match, did not complain of any health problems, although it added that it was awaiting results from a medical report.
The club further said that Benitez's sudden death is a shock for each member of the technical and administrative staff, adding that he was regarded for his high moral character during the short time he spent with the club.
According to the report, Benitez, often touted as a powerful, destabilizing striker, was the Mexican league's top scorer last season and helped his team win the championship.
The report further said that Qatar will host the 2022 World Cup and the searing temperatures have prompted many former football stars as well as FIFA President Sepp Blatter to call for the competition to be moved to the cooler, winter months. (ANI)