21 Year-Old Spanish Football Coach Dies of Coronavirus

Monday March 16, 2020

A 21-year-old Spanish football coach has died from coronavirus, the British newspaper The Independent reports.

He had also been suffering from a form of leukemia, which was unknown to him before becoming ill with the coronavirus.

"Francisco Garcia, a youth team coach at Malaga-based club Atlético Portada Alta, had an unknown pre-existing health condition that resulted in him being more vulnerable to the virus than usual for an individual of his age, though he was only informed of having cancer after going to the hospital with symptoms of coronavirus," the Independent reports.

"Garcia had been training with Atletico Portada Alta for four years and was coach of the junior team, with club president Pep Bueno paying tribute to him after revealing how quickly his condition declined."

"Francisco was a great guy and a very talented coach. We are all still shocked," Bueno said.

"The hospital rang me at 7 pm on Sunday to say his condition had stabilized, but then an hour later because of the coronavirus and (cancer) ... I do not believe it. It seems impossible to me."

Garcia is possibly the youngest victim of the pandemic. "The youngest individual to die in Italy - the worst-hit European nation - is a 38-year-old man who died last week, while China's youngest victim is a 36-year-old male," reports The Independent.

Garcia "was admitted on suspicion of coronavirus," the Spanish newspaper Malaga Hoy reports. "The analyzes revealed, in addition to the positive in this disease, very aggressive leukemia. The virus has just complicated things. Health sources tried to lower the alarm that may cause his death due to being a young man, indicating that if he had only had the virus, he would surely have recovered."

Atlético Portada Alta issued a statement that reads in part: "We want to express our deepest condolences to the family, friends and close friends of our coach Francisco García, who has left us, out of deep misfortune. And now what do we do without you, Francis?"

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