Soccer-Paraguayan player dies of viral infection in Indonesia

Reuters Middle East

JAKARTA, Dec 4 (Reuters) - Paraguayan soccer player Diego Mendieta, who played for Indonesian club Persis Solo last year, has died of a viral infection, local media reported.

The 32-year-old striker died late on Monday in a hospital in Solo, Central Java, the Jakarta Globe reported.

The paper said Mendieta had wanted to return home but had been unable to do so as the club owed him four months' wages which totalled 120 million rupiahs ($12,500).

"He always complained of being lonely," Guntur Hernawan, the head of the internal medicine division at Moewardi Hospital in Solo, told reporters on Tuesday.

"He said he wanted to go home because all of his relatives were in Paraguay."

Former Persis manager Totok Supriyanto was quoted by the paper as saying the outstanding debt would be paid to Mendieta's family.

Solo mayor Hadi Rudyatmo said would he personally pay the player's outstanding hospital bills and other expenses but called on others to help.

"To return him (to Paraguay), it should be handled by the Indonesian Football Association," Hadi was quoted as saying by (Reporting by Patrick Johnston in Singapore; Editing by Clare Fallon)

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