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PH football mourns death of young FEU booter Kieth Absalon

The Philippine football community is mourning the untimely death of budding football player Kieth Absalon, who passed away at the age of 21.

Absalon was the victim of an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast while riding bicycles with family members in Masbate on Sunday morning. One other relative of his died in the same incident.

Kieth was a bright young football prospect for both his school, FEU, and for the country.

He started his journey with FEU in 2013 as a 13-year old aspirant before blossoming into one of the more decorated high school players in the history of the program. He won multiple Midfielder of the Year awards and was named MVP of UAAP Season 78 while also becoming a six-time UAAP champion in high school football – the most any player can win in the UAAP.

Absalon was part of the First 11 of the FEU seniors football team before UAAP Season 82 was called off due to the pandemic.

“The UAAP family’s heart goes out to the Absalon family including Kieth’s sister Nathalie of the University of Santo Tomas women’s team and younger brother Karl who is part of FEU’s high school football program,” the UAAP said in a post. “We are also grieving with FEU which molded Kieth into a model student-athlete. Kieth brought pride and honor to the UAAP and FEU by representing the country in international tournaments.”

“Kieth’s toughness on the field and constant smiles off it will truly be missed by his brothers in the men’s football team and the entire FEU community,” FEU said in a separate post.

Absalon was also a member of the Under-19 Philippine national team that competed in the 2018 AFF Championships in Indonesia.

“It is heartbreaking to see a promising player’s future in Kieth Absalon cut short due to a terrible incident. We pray that his soul rest in peace,” said Philippine Football Federation (PFF) president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta in a statement.

“As one of the national youth team players privileged to have represented the country, it pains us to see Kieth miss out on what could have been an even brighter future for him,” added PFF general secretary Atty. Edwin Gastanes.

Another team he suited up for, Malaya FC, mourned the loss of Absalon as well.

“Thank you for sharing your brief moment on earth with Malaya FC and bringing pride and inspiration to our lives. Our prayers for Kieth’s eternal repose, for comfort and strength to the Absalon family, and for justice to be served,” said the team.

—Bea Micaller/JMB, GMA News