Cologne / Karlsruhe –

As a fan, you go to the stadium for fun. But what if everything suddenly becomes a minor matter and you are there when a drama happens on the pitch? Like now on June 12th at the European Football Championship when Dane Christian Eriksen collapsed. FC fan and EXPRESS editor Bastian Ebel remembers the case of Ümit Özat (44), who once collapsed during the away game of 1. FC Cologne in Karlsruhe.

  • Fall Christian Eriksen erinnert EXPRESS-Reporter an Ümit Özat
  • 1. FC Köln player collapsed in 2008
  • Bad scenes in the Karlsruhe wildlife park

Karlsruhe, August 29, 2008: What a tour! The trunk of the Ford Fiesta full of Kölsch, the music turned up and then off to the wildlife park. “Karlsruh ‘, Karlsruh’, we sh … you too”, keep it through the stadium – FC fans are also very strong away from home.

Ten Kölsch in my head, and FC played really badly at that time (also at that time) – support was needed in the curve. It was the time of keeper Faryd Mondragon, Nova and Sergiu Radu. Oh well.

1. FC Köln at Karlsruher SC: First kick, then shock

So we watched the kick until it got hectic on the pitch around the 25th minute. Players bustled around. Something must have happened right in front of the main grandstand, on the far left as seen from the guest curve.

Ümit Özat on the ground, the teammates were there immediately.

In these seconds you think of a speedster, of rampages that you may have overlooked with increasing Kölsch level.

From second to second, the FC fans also became more aware: What is happening here is not normal. Internet? At that time it was not possible with the cell phone. But the phone rang quickly: “What’s up with Ümit Özat? You know what?”.

At home, the buddies had followed the game on TV and were informed much faster than we fans in the curve.

Silence in the Karlsruhe stadium after Ümit Özat collapsed

Indeed: It was getting quieter in the wildlife park, even the fans of the KSC paused, chants stopped. Banished waiting. Suddenly thousands of spectators are quiet and whisper to each other.

You quickly realize: You are becoming a voyeur of a scene in which a person is struggling to survive.

Three points? The poor kick of the FC? At that moment, it doesn’t matter. One hopes and fears that this player may not die now, please. It doesn’t really matter which jersey someone is wearing.

Ümit Özat was then carried off the pitch – to the applause of all the spectators in the stadium. And it took several minutes before the choirs returned after the restart. The show must go on. 1. FC Köln won 2-0 afterwards and the victory was nice.

But it was much nicer to open the EXPRESS the next day: Ümit, who had collapsed due to an inflammation of the heart muscle, felt better again. That’s what counts. Nothing else.

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