Tim Nicot: Second Belgian footballer dies after suffering cardiac arrest

    Footballer Tim Nicot had been taking part in a tournament in Belgium.

    (CNN)Belgium is coming to terms with a second footballer in their twenties dying of cardiac arrest in the last fortnight.

    Tim Nicot, 23, collapsed while playing for fourth-tier club Wilrijk Beerschot in a tournament at Hemiksem, in the province of Antwerp, on Saturday.
    Late last month, 24-year-old Lokeren defender Gregory Mertens died in hospital after collapsing as he played in a reserve game.
      The death of Nicot, who was put into an induced coma at Antwerp University Hospital after his collapse, was announced by his club on Monday.
      Officials wrote on Twitter: "KFCO Wilrijk Beerschot is in mourning. Tim Nicot has just died. We wish family and friends strength."
      A statement on the club's official website said: "Much too soon, much too young. This morning, Tim Nicot died. He was only 23 years old.
      "KFCO Wilrijk Beerschot are searching for the right words to express our feelings, our sorrow. Disbelief, dismay, powerless rage... they all have a place.
      "When the doctors described Tim's condition as critical, it became clear how serious it was. But he fought like a bear, surrounded by his family, his teammates and his many friends."
      The statement thanked Nicot, who wore the No.14 shirt, for everything he had given the club, describing him as "tireless" and praising his relationship with the supporters.
      Wilrijk Beerschot have invited supporters to reflect on the player's life at their Olympic Stadium, where flowers and cards have been left in his memory. A book of condolence has also been opened.
      Figures from throughout Belgian football have paid tribute, with powerhouse club Anderlecht remembering Nicot on Twitter.
      Teammate Antonio Muñoz-Herrera, who had urged his friend and colleague to "keep fighting" over the weekend, said he would never be forgotten.
      Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws quoted the player's father, Alain Nicot, as saying: "Yesterday afternoon, I felt that Tim was losing the fight. His body could not take it any more.
      "I cannot comprehend it yet. Twenty-three years old."
      He said the family had been at Nicot's bedside when he died.
      The Gazet Van Antwerpen newspaper reported that cardiologists had called for compulsory heart screenings for athletes after the tragedy, quoting doctor Pedro Brugada as saying: "We must check our cars each year, but not our bodies. That is absurd."
      European football's governing body Uefa introduced mandatory cardiac testing for all players taking part in its competitions in 2008 following the deaths of Marc-Vivien Foé, Antonio Puerta and Phil O'Donnell.
      The Belgian Football Federation was not immediately available for comment.