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Young footballer dies after cup brawl in Germany

Police said a 15-year-old Berlin footballer died Wednesday after being critically hurt in a confrontation with players from a French squad during an international junior competition.

The adolescent “died in hospital as a result of his severe brain injuries” after being hit in the head during an altercation in Frankfurt on Sunday, according to local police.

According to authorities, a 16-year-old French team player was apprehended following the altercation and was still being held in custody.

The incident broke out after the final whistle in a match between the victim’s team, JFC Berlin, and a team from the French second-division club Metz.

Investigators said they were still looking into the “detailed sequence of events” that led to the player’s injury.

Police added in a subsequent statement Tuesday that the victim was apparently hit “on the head or neck” before he “fell to the floor and had to be resuscitated.”

The victim, who had already been certified brain dead on Tuesday, was kept alive so that his organs might be donated, according to a spokesman for the Frankfurt prosecutor’s office.

On Wednesday evening, Metz issued a statement.

“Following the tragedy that occurred this weekend in Frankfurt, FC Metz has learned through the media of the death of the young opposing player today,” the club stated.

“The entire FC Metz organization is deeply shocked by this tragedy and extends its heartfelt condolences to the young player’s family and loved ones.”

The club “would like to remind everyone that FC Metz Performance Program, as well as all the players and parents present, are of course at the disposal of the German authorities to assist with the investigation,” according to the statement.

The club revealed on Tuesday that a player from its “Performance Programme,” which provides “young footballers… from all over the world access to a high-level training structure,” was detained by German authorities.

According to the club, the suspected attacker “denies intentionally causing serious bodily harm.”

The tournament organizers were similarly startled by the incidents, which they described as “unbelievably sad” on Tuesday.

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