Football NewsRoma Star Evan Ndicka Collapses Suddenly on Pitch and Match Abandoned.
Post image

Roma’s game away to Udinese was abandoned after defender Evan Ndicka took ill and suddenly collapsed on the pitch.

Roma striker and Chelsea loanee Romelu Lukaku equalised in the 64th minute after former Watford midfielder Roberto Pereyra had given the hosts an early lead. Shortly after Lukaku’s strike, Ndicka was seen sitting down on the turf after raising his hand to his chest moments prior.

Medical staff were immediately called for and the Ivory Coast international, 24, was quickly taken off the pitch on a stretcher. Play was suspended for 15 minutes before a decision was made to abandon the match.

Both teams were seen talking to match referee Luca Pairetto, who made it clear that he’d respect their wishes over the continuation of play. Further, Roma boss Daniele De Rossi gathered his players in a circle and told them, as well as Pairetto, that Ndicka had suffered a heart attack.

Once the decision to abandon the contest was communicated to the Stadio Friuli crowd, both sets of fans applauded. Ndicka appeared to give a thumbs-up as he was taken off but there was evidently too much concern to continue. The 24-year-old is now conscious after being taken to a hospital in the city of Udine.

The remainder of the match could be finished on Monday evening, if Roma elect to remain in Udine on Sunday night. If not, it’s likely that the final 16 minutes or so of the Serie A fixture will be played at a later date, rather than the entire game.

Around three hours after Ndicka collapsed, Roma updated their fans on social media platform X/Twitter by confirming: “The squad went to visit Ndicka at the hospital. Evan is feeling better and is in good spirits. He will remain in the hospital for further observations. Forza Evan!”

Ndicka joined Roma last summer, signing on a free transfer after five seasons with Bundesliga side Eintracht Frankfurt. The left-footed defender, who was born in Paris, came through the ranks at French club Auxerre.

With Roma fifth in the league table, De Rossi made some big changes to his starting XI for trip to face Udinese, as Ndicka came back into the team after missing the Giallorossi’s last two fixtures in all competitions. De Rossi said ahead of Sunday’s abandoned fixture: “[Paulo] Dybala and (Lorenzo) Pellegrini can still play although I made the decision to bench Dybala.”

“Pellegrini, on the other hand, has a minor problem that needs to be taken care of. The other choices were a bit forced by the circumstances. We will have to beware of Udinese and their set pieces. Today we have a tricky match on our hands and we must be careful.”

On Thursday, Roma beat fellow Italian heavyweights AC Milan 1-0 away from home in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final clash. That victory followed up last weekend’s 1-0 win against arch rivals Lazio, boosting De Rossi and co’s hopes of finishing in the Champions League places.