An investigation of available data shows that worldwide professional football / soccer match cardiovascular deaths in 2021 were 300% higher than the 12-year average, with the number of deaths occurring in December 2021 alone equalling the 2009-2020 average. 

The following table details 36 known deaths of professional footballers to have occurred throughout 2021.

Note – a written version of this table has been presented at the end of this article that allows the links to be accessed. 

We restricted the wikipedia table to include only male professional footballers (over 16 years old) who were members of a football club in FIFA countries who died of a cardiovascular problem during a match (training or competitive) or collapsed due to a cardiovascular problem on the pitch or immediately after the game and then died later (did not recover). 

But we found another 15 in addition to the 21 presently (2022January12) listed –

The following table shows the total number of listed Fifa football match deaths and male cardiovascular football match deaths to have occurred every year since 2009. 

The data within the table was obtained from the following –

Pro footballers died of cardiovascular problems during games (match or training) at 4 times (31/7.8) the average rate of cardiovascular deaths from 2009 to 2020.

There were more than 15x as many deaths from heart attacks and strokes in 2021 than there were in 2020.

There were 3.5 times as many deaths in December 2021 than there were in the whole of 2020.

There were almost as many deaths in December 2021 (7) as the annual average rate over the last 12 years (7.8 per year).

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