Brighton midfielder Enock Mwepu has retired from football after a hereditary heart condition was discovered by doctors, the south-coast club have confirmed.
The midfielder has featured six times this season but missed the clash with Tottenham through an unknown issue, which later transpired to be a critical heart condition.
“The condition, which can worsen over time, would put Enock at an extremely high risk of suffering a potentially fatal cardiac event, if he were to continue playing competitive football”, an official statement read.
Mwepu was taken ill while on international duty, something that the club believe was related to the cardiac issue. “Sadly this [issue] can be exacerbated by playing sport so Enock has been advised that the only option, for the sake of his own safety, is for him to stop playing football”, they explained.
Brighton Chairman Tony Bloom added: “We are all absolutely devastated for Enock. He and his family have had a traumatic few weeks and while we are just thankful he has come through that period, he has seen such a promising career cut short at such a young age.
“As a club we will give him all the love, help and support we possibly can to make a full recovery, and then as he decides on the next steps in his life.”
Having risen to prominence at RB Sazburg, Mwepu joined Brighton in the summer of 2021 for a £20m fee, and appeared 27 times for the Seagulls, while he made over 100 appearances for the Austrian side. He has also appeared 24 times for his country, scoring six times in those outings.