Amilcar Henriquez, a Panamanian international, was shot dead on Saturday. Henriquez had played for his country in a World Cup qualifying match as recently as March, and his is not the first murder of a Panamanian player.Authorities said on Saturday that gunmen got out of a car and shot at Henriquez, 33, and his friends outside the Panamanian city of Colon. Henriquez died from his wounds after being taken to a clinic.
“We strongly condemn the assassination of Amilcar Henriquez,” Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela tweeted. The country’s football association added: “God bless your soul Mickey.”
Henriquez won 85 caps with the Panamanian national team, making an appearance off the bench in the team’s 1-1 draw against the United States in qualifying for next year’s World Cup in Russia. He was playing his club football in the United Arab League in Colon, with his last appearance on Wednesday.
His murder was not the first among Panamanian footballers. In 2011, Eric Luna, a goalkeeper for Plaza Amador, was shot and killed while talking in front of his house. Abdul Chiari, a former player with Sporting Colon and Arabe Unido, was shot to death as he went to training that same year, and so was Javier de la Rosa of Chorrillo Football Club, who was shot dead outside the stadium where his team had played minutes before.