It is with great sadness that we learn of the passing of Marcel Hnepeune, captain of the ASPTT team, who died this Saturday (April 22nd) during a match against FC Ferrand. Marcel was just 29 years old and had been the captain of the ASPTT since 2017. He was a highly respected player known for his efficiency and technique, and his untimely death has left the ASPTT family in mourning.
During the match, Marcel started at kick-off but was replaced after a few minutes of play. As he was making his way back to the bench, he collapsed and could not be revived. The cause of his death was a cardiac arrest, a sudden and unexpected event that has shocked the sporting community in New Caledonia.
Marcel’s contribution to the ASPTT team cannot be overstated. Last year, he led his team to victory in both the Caledonian Cup and the Super League championship, achieving a double. He was also a key player in the Caledonian selection, participating in the Oceania Nations Cup in Païta in October 2019, a qualifying phase for the 2020 World Cup.
Just a week before his passing, Marcel had received the player of the match award after his outstanding performance against the Fiji national team at the Melanesian Cup in Fiji. The Caledonian selection finished third in the tournament, and Marcel’s contribution was widely praised.
“Caledoian Football and Cagou Football are in shock after the sudden disappearance of Marcel Hnepeune, this Saturday, April 22 during the meeting that the international A futsal was playing with his ASPTT team, in the Super League futsal. New Caledonian futsal mourns the one who was one of its very best elements and above all a ‘big brother’ respected by all. To the family of Marcel Hnepeune, to his relatives, to the clans and to his tribe, to the ASPTT club and to the Caledonian Futsal family, the Caledonian Football Federation, its President Gilles Tavergeux, its Federal Council and its elected Members , its employees, send their most sincere condolences and join in the sadness caused at this time of mourning.” said FCF in a social media statement.
Marcel’s death is a great loss to the sporting community in New Caledonia. His talent and dedication to the sport will be greatly missed, and his memory will be cherished by all who knew him. Our thoughts are with his family, friends, and teammates during this difficult time.