DOHA, Qatar – The body of soccer player Christian Benitez was being flown home to Ecuador on Thursday, three days after he died in Qatar.
The casket — covered in flowers and featuring a huge portrait of the 27-year-old striker — was accompanied by Benitez's wife, Liseth Chala, and other relatives.
Officials from Benitez's Qatari club, El Jaish, and several players also came to the airport to say their final goodbyes.
Benitez joined El Jaish in July. The club said he died Monday of heart failure, a day after playing his first match for the club. Ecuador officials said Benitez was taken to the hospital with sharp stomach pains, developed peritonitis and died of cardiorespiratory arrest.