Belgian player dies of heart attack on pitch, second in two weeks

Belgian lower-league defender Tim Nicot, 23, died on Monday after suffering a heart attack during a friendly on Saturday, the second such death in Belgium in two weeks.

In an incident likely to increase calls for more cardiac screening of young players, Antwerp club Beerschot Wilrijk said Nicot died in hospital after collapsing at a post-season tournament following their promotion to the Third Division.

On April 30, former under-21 international defender Gregory Mertens, 24, died three days after his heart stopped during a reserve game for top-flight Lokeren at Racing Genk.

quotFar too soon, far too young,quot Beerschot said in a statement on Nicot’s death after doctors had put him into an artificial coma. quotHe fought. Like a bear. Lovingly surrounded by his family, supported by his team mates and his many friends.quot