Minute's silence to honour Astori at UEFA games

March 06, 2018
Fiorentina's Davide Astori (left) challenges Mohamed Salah during a Seria A match against Roma at the Olympic Stadium in Rome, Italy on March 4, 2016.

NYON, Switzerland (AP):

Tributes will be paid before UEFA Champions League and Europa League games this week to honour Italian player Davide Astori, who died on Sunday.

UEFA said yesterday that there would be a minute's silence in memory of the Fiorentina captain before all games.

Three Italian clubs are playing this week, including AC Milan, where Astori began his professional career.

Juventus play at Tottenham in the Champions League tomorrow, and Milan and Lazio host Europa League games on Thursday against Arsenal and Dynamo Kiev, respectively.

The 31-year-old Astori was found dead in his hotel room after a suspected cardiac arrest before his team was set to play an Italian league match at Udinese.

His funeral will take place on Thursday at the Basilica di Santa Croce in Florence.

"He did what he had to do in this chaotic world and left for a better world," Paris Saint-Germain defender Dani Alves said yesterday. "We are sad because we lost a colleague. The whole team wants to send its support to his family and friends."

A criminal investigation has been opened, but Udine prosecutor Antonio De Nicolo stressed that it was normal procedure and there is no current reason to suspect any wrongdoing.

An autopsy will take place today, and Astori's body will be brought back to Florence tomorrow and taken to Italy's national training centre, on the outskirts of the city, for the public to pay its respects.

Astori played 14 times for Italy, including at the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup.

He leaves behind his wife and a two-year-old daughter.

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