14.08.2020 11:08 h

Dutch club mourns tragic drowning of Chinese youth star Wang

Tributes poured in Friday for ADO Den Haag rising youth star Kairan "Max" Wang who drowned two weeks ago in the North Sea near The Hague.

The drowning was widely reported after Wang went missing while swimming with two friends in Monster, southwest of the city, but his name was only revealed Thursday as the football club held a memorial service.

"It is with great sorrow and deep regret that we learnt of the sudden death of our youth player Max Wang, at the age of only 15 years," the club said in a statement.

"He was a highly social and esteemed guy who was in the prime of his life, both on and off the field," club director Mohammed Hamdi said.

"It is terrible, incomprehensible and it hits us all hard," Hamdi added.

Wang, a Year 10 student at the International School of The Hague, moved to the Netherlands five-and-a-half years ago from China.

After first playing for local clubs he moved to ADO, the Dutch city's premier Eredivisie club.

Earlier this year he was invited to join China's national under-16 camp but could not go because of the coronavirus outbreak, ADO said.

"This call-up underlined his talent," the club said.

"Max was a well-loved student and a hugely talented footballer," said Richard Matthews, ISH school principal.

"He will be greatly missed by all of us," Matthews told AFP.

The area where Wang and his friends were swimming is notorious for strong tides and dangerous currents.

He disappeared in the waves and his body was discovered two days later by passers-by on the beach, Dutch daily tabloid De Telegraaf reported.

Wang is one of at least five fatal drownings off Dutch beaches over the last two weeks.