CAF President Ahmad Ahmad has expressed shock at the passing away of Burundi midfielder Papy Faty, who was due to represent his country at the impending Total Africa Cup of Nations Egypt 2019.
Faty collapsed after seeing off half an hour of the Eswatini Premier League Week 23 action between his club Malanti Chiefs and title chasers Green Mamba played at Killarney Stadium in Piggs Peak north of Eswatini on Thursday (25 April 2019) afternoon. He was 28.
"On behalf of the CAF Executive Committee and on my own behalf, I extend my deepest condolences to the Burundi Football Federation, Eswatini Football Association, the bereaved family and the Burundian football family. My thoughts are with you at this difficult moment," Ahmad said.
After receiving preliminary medical attention from both teams' doctors, Faty was rushed to Piggs Peak Government Hospital, less than half a kilometre away from the stadium where he was pronounced dead upon admission shortly before 1600hrs local time (14h00 GMT).
Malanti Chiefs co-director and Premier League of Eswatini board of governor, Victor Rodrigues confirmed the emotion tearing development.
"After collapsing during the match, team medics tried to stabilize him but unfortunately he could not make it to the hospital for further attention. It is a sad day for the game, our club, our country, Burundi and globally," said a distraught Rodrigues.
When the news broke to the rest of the players on the hour mark of action with Green Mamba leading 3-0 in their title chase, Faty's emotionally drained team mates crumbled to the turf forcing off play.
It is not the first time that Faty, who joined Malanti Chiefs in January, collapsed during a match due to what is preliminary suspected to be cardiac related as in 2015 had to hospitalized during a friendly match between his former club, Bidvest Wits and Supersport United.
Born on the 18th of September 1990 in Bujumbura, at the age of 11, the midfielder was scouted by AS Inter Star. Papy went through the ranks of the team and in 2007 signed a professional contract with the club. After the season 2007/2008 the player joined the Turkish side Trabzonspor.
After a season Papy was given on a loan to the Dutch team MVV where in the season 2011/2012 he made 17 outings and scored 4 times.
In 2012 the player was signed by Bidvest Wits spending five seasons before joining Royal Eagles then under now Eswatini head coach Kostadin Papic.
Papy was capped for the national team of Burundi for the first time in 2008 featuring in last month's 1-1 draw against Gabon at Prince Louis Rwagasore Stadium to finish second behind Mali on the log standings.
Upon return Eswatini, Faty hosted a talent scouting soccer tournament at Nkomazi on the outskirts of Piggs Peak.