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By ESPN Staff

Zambian soccer player dies during practice session

JERUSALEM -- Chaswe Nsofwa, a forward who played for Zambia at the 2002 African Cup of Nations, collapsed during a practice session Wednesday in the Israeli city of Beersheva and died minutes later in a hospital, the Israeli rescue service said.

Nsofwa was with Hapoel Beersheva, which plays in Israel's second division. Israel TV reported he collapsed during a practice game in the desert city. Rescue workers tried to restart his heart for several minutes on the field before taking him to Soroka Hospital in Beersheba.

Nsofwa was 26, according to the roster Zambia gave FIFA when he played in the 1999 World Youth Championship, which listed his date of birth as Oct. 22, 1980.

Paramedic Carmel Cohen told The Associated Press he rushed to the field when he received the emergency call.

"When we arrived we found the soccer player lying on the grass. We found his friends trying to help him," he said. "We gave him first aid, electric shocks and an external pacemaker, but despite all our efforts, he was declared dead at the hospital."

It was unclear why Nsofwa collapsed, but temperatures on the field approached 100 degrees with low humidity. Nsofwa, who joined Hapoel Beersheba during the offseason, scored in his team's 3-0 win over Hakoach Amidar Ramat Gan on Saturday.

Nsofwa appeared as a second-half substitute in all three of Zambia's games of the 2002 African Cup. He scored in a World Cup qualifier against Cameroon in July 2001.

On Tuesday, Antonio Puerta, a midfielder for the Spanish club Sevilla, died three days after collapsing during a league game.