Iraqi football legend Ahmad Radhi dies after battling COVID-19 | Coronavirus pandemic News

Iraqi soccer legend Ahmed Radhi has died on account of issues after he was recognized with COVID-19, the extremely infectious respiratory illness brought on by the brand new coronavirus, the Iraqi well being ministry has mentioned.

Radhi, 56, had been hospitalised final week in Baghdad after testing optimistic for the virus however had checked out on Thursday after his situation improved.


He relapsed a number of hours later and was readmitted to the hospital. He died early on Sunday.

Iraqis joined a funeral procession to honour the previous footballer within the Iraqi capital on Sunday morning. 

In video footage launched on native media shops, dozens of males had been seen gathered round an ambulance, chanting “There isn’t a God however Allah” in Arabic. Others had been seen weeping in disappointment as they walked alongside the automobile shortly earlier than his physique was laid to relaxation.

‘Onerous to breathe’

In a video reportedly from his hospital mattress on Saturday, Radhi could possibly be seen in a inexperienced jersey struggling to breathe as medics in full protecting gear attempt to deal with him.

“Typically it is exhausting to breathe however that is regular,” he could possibly be heard telling the medical crew, his voice strained.

“Ahmed Radhi handed away sporting the inexperienced jersey, which he liked a lot that we liked him in it,” mentioned Iraqi premier Mustafa al-Kadhemi.

FIFA, or the Worldwide Federation of Affiliation Soccer, paid tribute to Radhi.

In a tweet, the worldwide physique that governs, manages and promotes affiliation soccer, listed a few of Radhi’s achievements all through his profession, including: “Soccer misplaced a legend right this moment. RIP Ahmed Radhi.”

The footballer scored what stays Iraq’s solely World Cup finals purpose in 1986 in opposition to Belgium.

Radhi, a striker, led Iraq to victory within the Gulf Cups of 1984 and 1988, when he was voted Asian footballer of the 12 months.

Within the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, he scored in opposition to Belgium however Iraq misplaced the match 1-2 and exited the match within the group stage with out a level.

Radhi fled Iraq in 2006 after its Olympic Committee head was kidnapped throughout the top of the sectarian violence that adopted the US-led invasion of 2003.

He moved along with his household to the Jordanian capital Amman however returned to Iraq in 2007 for a profession in politics, changing a member of parliament who defected to hitch the preventing raging throughout the nation.

He was an unsuccessful candidate within the 2014 and 2018 elections with the Nationwide Alliance, a coalition of Sunni and Shia figures.

In this file photo taken on April 23, 2018 shows the campaign poster of Ahmed Radhi, a former Iraqi footballer, hanging in a street in Baghdad. Iraqi football legend Ahmed Radhi died on June 21, 2020

This picture, taken on April 23, 2018, reveals the marketing campaign poster of Ahmed Radhi in a road in Baghdad [File: Ahmad al-Rubaye/AFP]

His dying left soccer followers in grief in Iraq and the area.

“With nice disappointment and sorrow, we mourn our lifelong companion, our followers’ ardent star, the unrivalled athlete and son of Iraq, Ahmed Radhi,” mentioned Adnan Darjal, Iraq’s new sport minister and former footballer.

“Farewell, Abu Faisal, goodbye to my brother Ahmed Radhi,” wrote former star and Iraqi League President Hussein Saeed.

The director of Jordan’s Soccer Affiliation Ali al-Hussein mentioned the world had misplaced “a sports activities star whom we cherish and are pleased with”.

Iraq has registered almost 30,000 circumstances of the coronavirus and deaths topped 1,000 earlier this week.

The nation’s well being system – worn down by years of battle and inadequate upkeep – has been overwhelmed by the spiking numbers.

Al Jazeera and information companies

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