By Peterking Quaye for Shout-Africa.com – (With additional reporting by Zoegar Jaynes and Jonathan Paye-Layleh in Monrovia, Liberia )
Liberia prodigy Doeplah dies Liberia midfielder Patrick Doeplah has died after arriving in the country to play in the weekend’s 2012 Olympic Games qualifier. 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.
The Israel-based player was found dead in the team’s hotel on Tuesday morning in Monrovia after failing to wake up for training. The 20-year-old, who plays for Hapoel Kfar Saba, was allowed to
visit his family on Monday night, before returning to the camp ahead of their clash with Cote d’Ivoire in Ghana. He did not wake-up to join his teammates for training however, which prompted hotel officials to break into his room.
Doeplah’s agent, Dawn Greenberg, confirmed the death, hinting that he may have died following a cardiac arrest. Source to shout-africa.com, were quoted to be saying,”The boy went to the Liberia national team camp in Monrovia and asked permission to visit his family and his girlfriend,”
Greenberg said.”This morning he did not come down for training so they decided to break the door and found him dead.
“We want to involve the senior people in government so that we can get the cause of death properly confirmed, because doctors are saying he suffered from cardiac arrest.”He was like my child, I’m shocked, and 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 sole source of income for the family.”
The Liberia Football Association’s Director of Press, Henry Flomo, confirmed the death. “He and others, who arrived for the game, were with me right here in the office last night happy; he was not looking sick,” Flomo said in his FA office, as he stared at a photo of the player ion his computer screen in utter disbelief. He added that the FA was still awaiting an official medical report from the hospital regarding the actual cause of death.
Hapoel Kfar Saba chairman Harel Reichman said: “I have spoken to the players of Kfar Saba. They are in heavy shock from the moment they heard about it.”
Doeplah was considered as one of the rising stars of Liberian football having played for local giants Mighty Barolle and LISCR, before moving to Israel in 2009 to play for Hapoel Kfar Saba.
Patrick Doeplah was born on 27 October 1990 was a Liberian footballer who played at both professional and international levels as a striker.Doeplah spent his youth career with Gardnersville and Roots, before playing senior football with Mighty Barrolle and LISCR. At the latter club, he was the subject of interest from Ghanaian side Asante Kotoko. He instead signed on loan for Israeli club Hapoel Kfar Saba for the 2009–2010 seasons, before the deal was later made permanent. Doeplah earned two caps for Liberia in 2010. Doeplah died on 22 March 2011 at the age of 20.