The Football Family mourns fallen Fehér
Hungarian international Miklos Fehér passed away on the pitch from an apparent heart attack while playing with Portuguese club side Benfica this weekend. FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter quickly expressed his official condolences while the football world prepares to say a sombre and tearful farewell.
During stoppage time in an away match against Vitoria Guimaraes on Sunday 25 January, the Benfica forward received a yellow card before slumping awkwardly to the ground. After urgent appeals from team mates and, emergency medical staff attempted repeatedly to revive the player on the rain-soaked pitch.
Feher was then raced to an area hospital where he was eventually declared dead following nearly two hours of further attempts to restart his heart.
One of resurgent Hungary's key attacking options, Feher's loss will be keenly felt as new boss Lothar Matthaeus readies his side for their upcoming 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany qualifying run. Described as a humble, soft-spoken and dedicated footballer, the loss is yet another tragedy for the tight-knit football family, rocked only seven months ago by the tragic and premature passing of Cameroon international Marc Vivien Foe.
In a letter to Hungarian Federation President Dr. Imre Bozóki, FIFA president Joseph S. Blatter expressed his deepest condolences.
"I was extremely saddened to hear of the tragic death of Hungarian international Miklos Fehér," Blatter said. "His passing is an unspeakable tragedy Please allow me, on behalf of the international football family, to express my sincerest condolences to you, the Hungarian national team, and Hungarian football as a whole. I would be grateful if you would be so kind as to convey my deepest sympathy and support to the family and friends of Miklos Fehér at this difficult time."
Doctors at the hospital in Guimaraes are performing a complete autopsy. When complete, Fehér's body will be transported to Lisbon for a final viewing at Benfica's new ground, where fans have been lighting candles and placing flowers since the news of his death broke.