An inquiry has been requested into the death of a local footballer in Sierra Leone, Edmond Bangura – aged 24 – with concerns that he may have been the victim of coronavirus.
Goalkeeper Bangura, who played for FC Johansen, died in the early hours on Friday in a Freetown hospital.
“A close relative of Edmond informed me that our player passed away in hospital and died of asthma and hypertension,” said club president Isha Johansen, who also heads the local FA (SLFA).
Johansen has asked the SLFA to conduct an inquiry to determine the exact cause of death.
So far, Sierra Leone has had no confirmed deaths, but 26 reported cases of coronavirus, which severely affects those with underlying health conditions, including asthma.
“Edmond’s death affects the entire football family at a crucial and unprecedented time like this,” added Johansen.
“We need to know what exactly took the life of a seemingly-active young footballer up to three-four weeks ago, when he was training with his club.”
“This is a very sad day for all of us. He was one of our finest and longest-serving players.”
Bangura will be buried on Sunday but it is unclear how many people will be able to attend his funeral.
Sierra Leone is currently undergoing a 14-day curfew which bars people from going out between seven in the morning and nine at night in a bid to control the pandemic.
FC Johansen staff and other members of the football family are refraining from paying respects of the home of the deceased as a precautionary measure against the possible spread of the virus.