Christian Benitez, 27, Ecuador Soccer Star, Died of Heart Failure

Image: Christian Benitez, 27, Ecuador Soccer Star, Died of Heart Failure

Thursday, 01 Aug 2013 08:14 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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Medical reports released Wednesday confirmed the speculation that Christian "Chucho" Benitez, the 27-year-old Ecuadoran footballer, died of heart failure earlier this week.

Benitez, who signed with Qatari club El Jaish earlier this month, was rushed to a Doha, Qatar hospital with severe stomach pains Monday. He died a few hours later of respiratory failure brought on by cardiac arrest.

"The official medical reports were issued by official state entities and stated that the sudden death was caused by heart failure," read the statement issued by the club. "Since the Ecuadorian star passed away on Monday morning in a sudden way, sadness and sorrow prevailed all over the club after hearing the sad news especially that Benitez has joined the team for few days only."

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Ermen Benitez, the player's father, told CNN en Español Tuesday that his son had never had any heart problems before he arrived in Qatar.

"When a football player is signed, they always do tests," he said. "And he passed." 

Benitez's fans mourned his loss on Twitter.

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