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 January 29, 2024

Former Panama striker Luis ‘Matador’ Tejada passes away at 41

Luis "Matador" Tejada, a former striker for Panama who played for the national team and helped it qualify for its first ever World Cup in 2018, passed away on Sunday, according to an announcement made by the Panamanian Football Federation.

Tejada worked for the national team and collapsed while he was participating in a local leisure league, according to the local media, as CNN reported.

Tejada is Panama's all-time best goal scorer, having scored 43 goals for his country from international competition.

There has been an attempt made by CNN Sport and other networks to obtain a comment from the Panamanian national police.

After playing 108 times for Panama, Tejada was “synonymous with the development and evolution of football in our country" according to a statement released by the Federation of Panama Football Unions.

“We express our sincerest condolences to his relatives, friends and the whole football family and Panamanian sport in general,” the statement read.

“We will never forget you Matador!”

Former Panama striker Blas Pérez, who played alongside Tejada in attack for Panama and is second behind the 'Matador' on the scoring charts for the national team, commented on X beside a photo of the two of them laughing and hugging, "I don't believe it, my partner left."

In the fourth round of the CONCACAF qualifying campaign for the 2018 World Cup, Tejada scored two goals. Panama went on to finish third in the fifth round, which allowed them to automatically qualify for the tournament.

The United States men's team, who ended up failing to qualify for the World Cup for the first time in 32 years, finished one point and two places behind Panama, which finished in first place.

In the first encounter of the group stage, which took place in Russia, Panama caused Tunisia some difficulties, but Tunisia won by a score of 2-1 after coming from behind by one goal.

Then, Panama was eliminated from the competition in the group stage after suffering defeats of 6-1 to England and 3-0 to Belgium.

Despite a general decline in the occurrence of sudden cardiac death among NCAA athletes over a 20-year study, the rates in 2022 remained highest among male athletes, black athletes, and basketball players in the United States.

Among college athletes, sudden cardiac death is the leading cause of non-accidental mortality, and in individuals with congenital coronary artery anomalies, it occurs primarily during physical exertion.

Written By:
Charlotte Tyler

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