One of Liberia’s most promising young footballers has died while attending an Olympic training camp in his homeland.
Patrick Doeplah, who played his club football in Israel for Hapoel Kfar Saba, was found dead in his hotel room in Monrovria on Tuesday morning.
The 20-year-old midfielder, who had trials with Kotoko two years ago, was preparing for Sunday’s qualifier against Ivory Coast.
“I have spoken to the players of Kfar Saba [and] they are in heavy shock,” said his club chairman Harel Reichman.
“He was in camp with the Liberia team and asked permission to meet his girlfriend and spend time with the family,” continued the chairman of the second division side.
“He returned to the hotel and just did not get up in the morning.”
When Doeplah did not come down for training and failed to answer any calls, concerned officials broke down his hotel room door only to find him dead.
“We want to involve the senior people in government so that we can get properly informed because doctors are saying he suffered from cardiac arrest,” said Doeplah’s agent Dawn Greenberg.
“He was like my child, I’m shocked, it’s unreal.
“He called and sent me an SMS yesterday to say he was fine but I am in a total mess now.
“He has a two-year-old child and he is the source of income for his family because everyone knows how hard it is in Africa.”
Doeplah made his debut for the national team in an Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Zimbabwe last September.
However he had been dropped from the senior side to play for Liberia’s Olympic team on Saturday, when they meet the Ivory Coast in a London 2012 qualifier in Accra, Ghana.
Ongoing political violence in Ivory Coast means the Olympic qualifier has been scheduled for the Ghanaian capital Accra on Sunday, but it is now unclear whether the game will go ahead.