Cristiano death: cardiac arrest suspected

BANGALORE, DEC. 6. The 25-year-old Dempo footballer, Cristiano Junior, is suspected to have died of cardiac arrest. Forensic experts at Victoria Hospital, who conducted autopsy on the body of Cristiano, who died after scoring a goal in the Federation Cup final against Mohun Bagan here on Sunday, have stated that "there was a block in one of the arteries and this could have led to a cardiac arrest," sources in the city police told The Hindu.

The sources said the autopsy report would be ready by Tuesday. Cristiano's heart has been sent for histo-pathological study and urine samples for chemical analysis. The experts would give their final opinion only after obtaining these reports from the Forensic Science Laboratory, they said.

There were no external injuries on the body of the footballer, who was reportedly an asthma patient, and it is suspected that the windpipe was broken, the sources said.

The Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime), M.C. Narayana Gowda, said the Sampangiramnagar police had registered a case of negligence leading to death under Section 304 (A) of the Indian Penal Code against the Karnataka State Football Association (KSFA), which had organised the tournament.

In a complaint with the Sampangiramnagar police, the Dempo coach, Armando Colaco, has said that the KSFA, the Mohun Bagan goalkeeper, Subrata Paul, and the authorities of HOSMAT Hospital, were responsible for Cristiano's death, Mr. Gowda said.

In the complaint, Colaco said though the Brazilian striker was lying on the field for 20 minutes after collapsing, he was not given any medical aid. "He was taken to the faraway HOSMAT Hospital instead of the nearby Mallya Hospital."

The police said they had requested the Doordarshan authorities to provide the complete footage of the football match to ascertain the sequence of events that led to Cristiano's death.

On Monday morning, before Cristiano's body was flown to Goa, the Minister of State for Labour, Tanveer Sait, visited the Victoria Hospital mortuary and handed over a compensation cheque for Rs.1 lakh to the Dempo team management.

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