Prominent Lebanese footballer Mohamed Atwi has died of a bullet wound reportedly sustained during the funeral for one of the victims of last month’s massive explosion at the port of the capital, Beirut, according to his club and local media.
The 32-year-old played as a midfielder for a number of Lebanese clubs and won the national league three times with Beirut’s Ansar, his club for almost 10 years.
Tributes poured in for the player, who was also capped three times for his country.
“A sad day for sport,” Wael Chehayeb, an official with his latest club Al-Akhaa al-Ahly, wrote on social media, calling Atwi “a great for Lebanese football”.
Atwi was hit in the head by a bullet as he walked on a street in a Beirut neighbourhood last month.
Initial reports suggested he was struck by a falling bullet fired in the air from a nearby mourning procession for one of the firefighters killed in the August 4 port explosion. He had been in an intensive care unit since August 21.
Atwi’s family has demanded a full investigation into the circumstances of his death, over which no arrests have been made.
Former Lebanon coach Theo Buecker said Atwi was a “well-known personality” in the nation’s football scene and a leading figure in his team.
“I feel very sorry for him and his family,” the German told the dpa news agency.
Shooting in the air for celebrations and funerals is common in Lebanon despite recurring injuries from falling bullets.
Lebanese footballer Mohamed Atwi dies of bullet wound Wire Services/ Al Jazeera.