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Papy Faty’s Last Interview in Burundi Before His Death in Eswatini

Papy Faty spent a year and a half without club football after doctors said he faced the possibility of cardiac arrest if he continued to play.

He spent a year and a half without club football after doctors said he faced the possibility of cardiac arrest if he continued to play.

Burundi international Papy Faty was informed about a heart condition in 2015 after he passed out twice on the field while turning for his former side Bidvest Wits in the South Africa Premier Soccer League.

But in January this year, the classy midfielder Faty made a decision to return to the field and due to his prowess, eSwatini side, Melanti Chiefs, signed him.

Whether Chiefs knew his heart condition or not, Faty was a star performer and was really impressive during his time with the Clever Boys.

Indeed, his two goals in seven matches for Chiefs caught the attention of selectors in March and he was summoned for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations decisive qualifier against Gabon after a long absence.

In his last interview with Burundian press, Faty hailed the chance saying it has worked much in imparting him with more confidence after three years of absence.

“My dream was to qualify the national team for the Africa Cup of Nations. Now my dream has just become a reality. God is great and I am very happy. I thank the president of the FFB, Révérien Ndikuriyo, our coach Olivier Niyungeko for recalling me,” Fay was quoted by French portal, Akeza.

[perfectpullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””] “I have a heart problem that has derailed my career, but I thank God because despite the condition I have continued to play. I take this opportunity to thank all Burundians for praying for us to qualify.”   [/perfectpullquote]

Thirty-four days after the interview, football fans were in shock after receiving news that Faty was no more. It was announced that he collapsed and died while playing for Chiefs in the eSwatini Premier League match against Green Mamba at the Killarney Stadium in Piggs Peak, Mbabane.

According to Times of Swaziland reporter Sanele Jele who was covering the match, the 28-year-old footballer started to hold his chest on the in the 24th minute and then collapsed and was taken outside the pitch for first aid treatment.

Unluckily, there was no ambulance to take Faty to hospital and they used coach’s car but the Burundian died while he was still on his way to the nearest health facility.

Faty made his international debut in June 2008, scoring three goals in 28 appearances for The Swallows.

Burundi Football Federation (BFA) president Reverien Ndikuriyo described Faty’s passing as a ‘hard blow’ as the East Africans prepare to debut at the Nations Cup in Egypt.

The South Africa Premier Soccer League has confirmed that moment of silence will be observed for the late star, who also had a stint with Real Kings in the NFD, during all of this weekend’s Absa Premiership, National First Division and MultiChoice Diski Shield fixtures.

To Burundi and East Africa as a whole, Faty is a legend and will always remain in the hearts. He will be remembered as a man who fulfilled his wish of having the Swallows qualify for Africa Cup of Nations for the first time in history.

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