The Ecuadorean footballer Christian Benitez, who died unexpectedly on Monday in Qatar, had a pre-existing heart condition, doctors say.
As was reported earlier by The Inquisitr, heart problems were suspected, now the confirmation has been made public.
A congenital heart ailment that was undetected in numerous physical examinations killed the football star according to a statement by the national team’s physician on Friday.
Luis Chiriboga, the president of the Ecuadorean Football Association, told reporters that Benitez had a deficiency in one of the coronary arteries, but unfortunately this could only have been detected after his death.
Benitez, who recently started playing in Qatar, also played in England and Mexico as well as being a member of the National Team.
Meanwhile, thousands of mourners flocked to pay their respects to Christian Benitez, as his body was returned to his native Ecuador.
Benitez’s fans are saying their last goodbyes to the football star in a sporting arena in the nation’s capital, Quito.
In South America football, or soccer as we know it in the US, is the most popular sport and players have a greater than life image, especially those who make it in the international arena.
The player’s body was flown from Qatar to Ecuador via charter plane, where hundreds awaited at the airport.
A second autopsy was conducted before the burial took place on Saturday. One had been done in Qatar immediately after his passing.
Fans were being allowed only a few seconds by the coffin to say their goodbyes, only friends and relatives were authorized to remain inside the stadium.
Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa was expected to mourn the footballer later on Friday.
Christian Benitez was admitted to a hospital on Sunday after suffering severe stomach pain, he died hours later.
Watch footage of events surrounding the death of Christian Benitez.
[Image via CBC]