Gabon international Moise Brou Apanga dead at 35

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Gabon defender Moise Brou Apanga died on Wednesday from cardiac arrest, the Gabonese Football Federation have confirmed. He was 35.

According to a statement released by FegaFoot, Brou Apanga suffered the heart attack during a training session with his current club, Football Canon 105 de Libreville.

The Ivory Coast-born stopper spent time in Europe with French side Brest and Italian outfits Perugia and Brescia after originally beginning his career with FC Politehnica Timisoara in Romania. He also featured for Mangasport in his homeland, and was enjoying his second spell with Canon after returning earlier this year.

"I have collapsed," former Gabon coach Alain Giresse, who handed Brou Apanga his international debut in 2007, told L'Equipe. "I'm destroyed.

"I made him get his naturalisation because he was Ivorian," the current Mali boss continued. "He was playing in the country and I helped him join Brest."

Brou Apanga made 33 appearances for the Panthers, and represented the Central Africans at the 2010 Nations Cup and the 2012 event on home soil.

"We called him up along with Bruno Ecuele-Manga and Daniel Cousin," Giresse continued. "Along with Bruno, he was our defensive lynchpin."

Sunderland and Gabon midfielder Didier Ibrahim Ndong also paid tribute to Brou Apanga, who he described as a 'brave warrior'.

"God gave Gabon and her national team a ferocious combatant," the 22-year-old wrote on his Facebook page. "Moise Brou Apanga, we will never forget you."