Picture Special: Jonathan Richter is put in a coma after being hit by lightning during a match

You are unlikely to find a more distressing story in the world of football this year.

Danish football is reeling this Tuesday after a friendly match between first division side Hvidovre and the FC Nordsjaelland’s reserves ended in tragedy on Monday night after a lightning bolt struck one of the players, leaving the footballer perilously close to death. As it is the prognosis is still gravely concerning after Jonathan Richter was left in a coma after the lightning attack.

According to local reports, 24-year-old Richter was said to have been struck directly in either the chest or head by the strike. Such was its power, up to six other footballers on the pitch were said to have been knocked over by the force of the elements, although thankfully all walked away unscathed.

As horrified teammates looked on, including Richter’s twin brother Simon, it took almost 15 minutes for the paramedics to arrive on the scene, at which point they began giving Richter CPR. Eventually the midfielder was rushed to the nearby hospital, where he was placed in an artificial coma to help with his battle for survival.

Players from both teams have been offered crisis counselling after the terrifying incident.