(Reuters) – Brighton & Hove Albion’s Zambian midfielder Enock Mwepu has been forced to end his playing career aged 24 after being diagnosed with a hereditary heart condition, the Premier League club said in a statement on Monday.
Brighton said Mwepu’s condition, which was not previously evident on regular cardiac screening, puts him at an extremely high risk of suffering a potentially fatal cardiac event if he were to continue playing the game competitively.
Mwepu fell ill during the recent international break while on a flight to join up with the Zambian team which he captains. After a period in a hospital in Mali, he returned to Brighton for further tests which revealed his condition.
“It is a terrible blow for Enock, but he has to put his health and his family first and this is the right choice, however difficult it is to quit the game he loves,” said Adam Brett, Brighton’s Head of Medicine and Performance.
Brett added the club would help Mwepu get the treatment needed to manage his condition.
(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)