Two Swedish boys die during football practice

Two boys have died during football practice in Sweden, bringing the number of youths killed while playing sports in the country to six this year alone, police said on Tuesday.

“In the middle of the day yesterday [Monday], during a football game at a school here, an 11-year-old boy having difficulty breathing was taken to hospital, but his life could not be saved,” Lars Förstell, a police spokesman in the southern town of Malmoe, told AFP.

According to Swedish daily Expressen, the boy had been playing goalkeeper during the game and the ball had struck him on the chest.

The boy, whose name was not revealed, may have suffered from the same condition that kills hundreds of youths in the United States each year who are struck in the chest by baseballs, according to heart surgeon Mats Börjesson.

“They suffer from a so-called heart-shaking when the blow to the heart happens at an unfortunate moment in the heart rhythm. The same thing can happen with a football, although it is very unusual,” he told Expressen.

On Monday evening, a 13-year-old boy also collapsed following football practice in Stockholm.

He was taken to hospital by helicopter, but was declared dead on arrival, Expressen reported, indicating that the boy may have had a congenital heart disorder.

The two latest tragedies follow the deaths earlier this year of three other youths between the ages of 10 and 15 during football practice in Sweden, and the death of 15-year-old during ice hockey practice. (AFP)