A suburban footy player who went into cardiac arrest blames an illegal punch that nearly killed him and is horrified by the “absolutely disgusting” comments onlookers shouted as he fought for his life.
Keysborough player Jojo Ofosu-Amaah, 26, collapsed late last month in an incident just before three-quarter time during a game against Skye in Melbourne’s south-east.
Ofosu-Amaah suffered a seizure and went into cardiac arrest on the ground in an incident that quickly turned terrifying.
His heart stopped beating for five minutes before being revived by club trainers and a nurse who happened to be attending the game.
Ofosu-Amaah gave a thumbs up to one of his teammates as he left the field on a stretcher as he was rushed to Frankston Hospital.
Jojo Ofosu-Amaah, 26, went into cardiac arrest while playing football in suburban Victoria – and blames an illegal punch as the cause of the incident
Ofosu-Amaah’s heart stopped beating for five minutes and was happily revived by club trainers and a nurse lying on the floor
According to News Corpthe Southern League has launched an investigation into the incident and an AFL-accredited investigator has reviewed the statements.
The league subsequently informed both clubs involved that there is too much conflicting evidence to support any charges against any player.
Ofosu-Amaah, who believes he was punched in the chest before the cardiac arrest, is outraged by the decision and took to social media on Monday afternoon to vent.
“I haven’t really spoken publicly about my incident yet,” he wrote.
“I want everyone to know I am absolutely devastated that the SFNL I thought was there to protect me and all of its players let this behavior slip.
“My life changed forever on April 22 when I put up a block during the game and was punched in the chest before a scuffle broke out and then I was told at least one coward hit me from behind off the ball and due to ‘conflicting statements’ The SFNL let the perpetrator(s) and their club get away with it.
Not to mention the locked gates and the 11 year out-of-date defib. Some of the things I’ve heard the crowd scream as I lay dead on the floor are absolutely disgusting and have no place in football or anywhere else.
“All I want is justice and that no other player goes through what my family, teammates, coaches, trainers and I went through.”
The Southern League investigated the matter and subsequently informed both clubs involved that there is too much conflicting evidence to support charges against any player.
Ofosu-Amaah says he is devastated by the ruling and insists he was knocked off the ball at least once. He is also shocked by public comments while he was down
A week after Ofosu-Amaah was hospitalized, doctors at Vincent Heart Hospital discovered a condition in his heart called myocardial bridging syndrome and he underwent surgery.
However, his family insists he had no history of seizures before the incident.
Southern Football Netball League (SFNL) boss Lee Hartman said it had taken “extreme care in reviewing each of the statements provided to reach this conclusion”.
Our main concern remains JoJo’s well-being [we] hear he continues to recover well,” he said.
Hartman explained that the investigation looked at witness statements from the clubs and the referees.
He admitted there was evidence of a scuffle before Ofosu-Amaah collapsed to the ground – but not enough to warrant an offense.
When asked if anyone saw him hit, Hartman said: “All I can say is that several of the testimonials we received conflicted with each other and at the end of the day there was no evidence to press charges.”
Southern Football Netball League (SFNL) boss Lee Hartman said there was evidence of a scuffle here before Ofosu-Amaah collapsed to the ground – but not enough to prove a foul
Ofosu-Amaah’s stepfather, Paul Suppree, is not happy with the investigation and believes the matter should have been referred to the tribunal for deliberation.
Supree is also annoyed that the investigation contains no evidence of Ofosu-Amaah.
“No one from the league or the reviewers has contacted Jojo for an explanation of what happened as part of this review process,” he said.
“Someone doing the review should have reached out as soon as Jojo was stabilized and home.”