Jean Paul Ahoyikuye: Details emerge on Rwanda national team defender's sudden death on the pitch

Jean Paul Ahoyikuye heading the ball during a previous Rwanda Premier League match. ©The Times

Jean Paul Ahoyikuye: Details emerge on Rwanda national team defender's sudden death on the pitch

Festus Chuma 18:00 - 07.07.2024

The Rwanda international tragically passed away on Saturday leaving the football community in mourning.

Rwanda international Jean Paul Ahoyikuye tragically passed away following a collision on the pitch, AS Kigali confirmed on Saturday.

The incident took place on the afternoon of July 6 in Mageragere casting a pall over the Rwandan football community.

The 24-year-old defender, who was a key player for both AS Kigali and the national team, collided with the opposing goalkeeper during a match.

Witnesses reported that Ahoyikuye fell to the ground and appeared to be in severe distress.

“With heavy hearts, we mourn the loss of our player Jean Paul Ahoyikuye a.k.a Mukonya who passed away Saturday morning. His legacy on and off the field will never be forgotten. May his soul rest in peace,” read the statement from AS Kigali.

Sources indicate that Ahoyikuye swallowed his tongue during the collision, leading to immediate medical complications.

Despite the swift intervention of medical personnel on the scene, who administered first aid and attempted resuscitation, he was unresponsive.

Ahoyikuye was quickly transported to CHUK hospital a leading medical facility in Kigali for emergency treatment.

Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of the medical team, he was pronounced dead shortly after arrival.

Fellow players, fans, and officials have expressed their grief and paid tribute to his contributions both on and off the pitch.

“Jean Paul was not only a talented player but also a great person. His dedication and sportsmanship were exemplary. This is a huge loss for Rwandan football,” said an emotional teammate.

Ahoyikuye’s career though tragically cut short was marked by significant achievements and a bright future.

Jean Paul Ahoyikuye’s legacy will endure in the hearts of those who knew him and in the annals of Rwandan football history.