A soccer player is dead after lightning struck a goal post that he is standing next to during training. Stefan Petrovski, 18, was at soccer practice in Malaysia after signing a three-year contract with Melaka United, a Malaysian Premier League team. The young player is of mixed Malaysian and Australian descent and had previously played for the NSW Premier League Club Sydney Olympic before signing the contract with Melaka.
The Guardian reports that professional soccer player Stefan Petrovski was already an accomplished soccer player despite being just 18-years-old. The goalkeeper was a part of the NSW Premier Sydney Olympic league team, a respected team in the NSW Premier league. He then went on to sign a three-year contract with the Malaysian Premier League, a second-tier Malaysian soccer team. Petrovski was practicing with his new soccer club in Malaysia on April 5 when the freak accident occurred.
Reports indicate that Petrovski was standing near the goal post when a lightning bolt hit the structure. Following the lightning strike, the goalkeeper lost consciousness and was taken to the Malacca hospital. The young athlete was transferred to the intensive care unit where medical doctors say his condition was improving. He was eventually able to breathe with the help of a ventilator and was deemed in “stable condition.”
However, things quickly took a turn for the worse when he began suffering from oxygen deprivation due to brain swelling. Doctors diagnosed the teen with Cerebral Hypoxia Ischemia, caused by a lack of oxygen supplied to the brain. Before the soccer star could be re-stabilized, he would pass away. The promising young soccer star was pronounced dead at 4:40 p.m. this afternoon.
PFAM is saddened that Stefan Petrovski, has passed away. Our thoughts and condolences are with the family. pic.twitter.com/9Au5ZyDsyV
— PFA Malaysia (@pfamalaysia) May 1, 2016
Tragic news in Malaysia regarding Australian GK Stefan Petrovski’s death
Thoughts are with his family#RIP
— jacob burns (@JacobBurns07) May 1, 2016
The young soccer player was preparing for his debut with the PFA when the tragic accident took place. A second player, 21-year-old Muhd Afiq Azuan, was also hit by the lightning in the freak accident but is expected to make a full recovery. Azuan has regained consciousness and is stable.
The Sydney Olympic FC took to Facebook to express their grief over the loss of the player they used to call their own. They called Stefan an “Olympic son” who will never be forgotten.
“It is with great sadness that we advise that our Olympic son Stefan Petrovski has passed away. He will always be in our hearts and never be forgotten.”
Friends of Petrovski say he was a “funny and honest” kid who helped bring the team together.
In the days leading up to the lightning bolt incident, Petrovski would share a number of photos from the training field with his new team. His friends were congratulating him on his move to Melaka United and said he would be a “star.”
Sadly, this isn’t the first time that a soccer player has been struck by lightning. The horrifying moment that a lightning bolt strikes the field of a match between two top South African teams was captured on video. Numerous players drop to the ground and chaos descends upon the field as medical teams rush to assess the damage. Multiple players are taken away on stretchers with others simply holding their head in their hands.
Fortunately, none of the players were permanently injured or killed during the South African match. However, the damage that a lightning bolt can produce is displayed in the video as it shows what a single lightning bolt can do to players on the field.
[Image via Facebook/Stefan Petrovski]