A Zambian soccer player collapsed during a practice session Wednesday in the Israeli city of Beersheba and died minutes later in a hospital, the Israeli rescue service said.
Chaswe Nsofwa, 26, a striker playing as a foreign professional for the local Hapoel Beersheba soccer club, collapsed during a practice game in the southern desert city.
Nsofwa, a former Zambian national team player, suddenly fell to the field. Rescue workers tried to restart his heart for several minutes before taking him to Soroka Hospital in Beersheba, where he was pronounced dead.
Paramedic Carmel Cohen told The Associated Press that he rushed to the field when he received the emergency call.
"When we arrived we found the soccer player lying on the grass. We found his friends trying to help him," he said. "We gave him first aid, electric shocks and an external pacemaker, but despite all our efforts, he was declared dead at the hospital."
It was not known what caused the player's collapse. Israel TV reported that he recently passed a physical exam. The official European league gave his age as 26, though other sources said he was 28.
Temperatures on the field approached 40 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit) with low humidity when Nsofwa collapsed.
On Tuesday, Antonio Puerta, a midfielder for the Spanish team Sevilla, died three days after collapsing during a league game.
Nsofwa, who joined Hapoel Beersheba during the summer, scored a goal in his team's 3-0 league victory over Hakoach Amidar Ramat Gan on Saturday.