Marineris - Saturni, Aquarius 7, 2077, m249
For the first time in 20 weeks, the stadiums across Mars were empty.
A colony and a league are in mourning after the sudden loss of Comet midfielder, Yamen Warren. In a freak accident in the second half of the heated match against the Amrita Immortals, a mid-air impact with Jag Parkar breached Warren's helmet and sent him crashing head-first to the turf below.
Emergency measures seemed to have adverted disaster on the field – The EV Suit immediately deployed the airbag to protect Warren from exposure to Martian atmosphere (more accurately, the lack of it) and MAFL protocols were in check, getting medical aid to his side in under 60 seconds. Warren even regained consciousness later that afternoon at the hospital facilities at Marineris, but his condition took a sudden turn that evening and he was pronounced dead at 24:16.
Warren was laid to rest after funeral services were held at Marineris Hall. The hall is one of the few surface structures at the colony, typically reserved for festive occasions and galas. Today, it provided the backdrop for hundreds to pay their respects for the fallen athlete.
MAFL officials, club owners and the entire Comets team and staff were in attendance. The service was filled to capacity, so emotional fans and other players who made the journey to pay respects were left in the promenade, passage ways, and decks around the great hall.
By request of Jayden and Mirna Warren, no recording or broadcast was made of the service, however, most of the colonies observed a moment of silence to pay tribute to Warren.
The MAFL was quick to postpone the final round of matches for the regular season last week are yet to announce when play will resume. Many club owners have offered counselling services to support their players.
It is unclear how Warren's death will affect the sport in the near-term, however, this unfortunate incident is sure to have long-lasting impact.