Belgian footballer Mertens dies

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Sporting Lokeren defender Gregory Mertens has died three days after collapsing during a reserve match against Genk.

Gregory Mertens, the Sporting Lokeren defender who collapsed during a reserve game versus Genk on Monday, has died.

Lokeren announced the news on Thursday, expressing their sadness at the death of the 24-year-old, who suffered heart failure.

A club statement read: "Much too soon, we say goodbye to Gregory Mertens. 

"We are a football club. Everyone in and around the club breathes football. But suddenly something happens which we realise that football is just football. Today is such a time.

"Now we will have to learn to live with the loss.

"We realise that this is mainly for the family are incredibly difficult moments. We already offer them in the name of the whole club our sincere condolences."