Former Stoke defender Dionatan Teixeira has died aged 25, the club have announced.
The Brazilian-born player, who played twice for Stoke's first team after moving to the club in 2014, was registered with Moldovan side Sheriff Tiraspol at the time of his death.
After joining them in February he made 10 appearances as Sheriff won the Moldovan National Division title.
Teixeira also played for Kosice, Slovan Bratislava, Banik Ruzina and Dukla Banska Bystrica and made eight appearances for Fleetwood Town during a loan spell from Stoke in 2015.
A statement on Stoke's website read: "Stoke City extends sincere condolences to the family of former defender Dionatan Teixeira following his untimely passing at the age of 25."
Chief executive Tony Scholes added: "Dionatan was a hugely popular member of our squad and it's difficult to comprehend that he has passed away at such a young age. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his young family and friends at such a difficult time."
Teixeira was back in Brazil where it is said he was taken ill and died on Sunday after a suspected heart attack.
A statement on the Sheriff website said he had been due to return to the club soon.
The Sheriff statement read: "The whole team of FC Sheriff, from simple workers to the management of the club, is shocked by the tragic news. The pain of loss is great. We express our sincere condolences to the relatives and friends of Dionotan. He will remain forever in our hearts."
The body of the missing Indian football player on tour in Australia was recovered and identified on Monday, even as officials began passing the buck of responsibility. The teenager, identified as Nitisha Negi, was part of the contingent that had travelled to Australia for the Pacific School Games; she had gone missing from Glenelg beach in Adelaide on Sunday.
At the home of the Negis' in Khichripur, New Delhi, it's been an anxious and sleepless night since the call from Adelaide, by an Australian official, informing them of Nitisha having gone missing last evening. On Monday, their worst fears were confirmed. Soon after search operations were resumed, 15 year-old Nitisha's body was pulled out from near the breakwater.
The family alleges that through this ordeal, they have been frantically trying to get in touch with School Games Federation of India (SGFI) officials for answers but have met with little luck so far. It is at the behest of SGFI, headed by double Olympic champion Sushil Kumar, that the 150-plus students travelled for the invitational tournament.
Speaking to ESPN, Nitisha's father, a teary Puran Singh Negi said, "We have lost what was most dear to us. SGFI has been irresponsible in taking so many children to the beach without any provision for ensuring their safety. Nitisha didn't even know how to swim. Our entire family, relatives and neighbours have been camping at our house, watching TV news channels and hoping to hear some word from officials. We even got in touch with the Ministry of External Affairs and they promised us prompt action but we haven't heard anything from them since. We are a poor family and we don't know whom to turn to."
Including Nitisha, five female athletes, all from New Delhi, were swept away by waves while clicking pictures during their trip to the South Australian beach. Four of them were rescued by surf lifesavers, of which two continue to remain in hospital. Saying that it was the first such instance he encountered in office, SGFI CEO and secretary general Dr Rajesh Mishra held the callous attitude of accompanying coaches partly responsible for the mishap, adding that the federation is in constant touch with the Indian High Commission in Australia for assistance.
"Along with the four rescued female athletes, we have a senior coach and two more officials stationed in Adelaide. The rest of the contingent boarded the flight back to India this morning. Since it's a case of death, inquest as per the country's laws will have to take course before the body of the athlete can be released and the others involved in the incident too can return."
Invitation for the Pacific School Games was forwarded to SGFI by the Indian High Commission and in turn the body wrote to its affiliated state units seeking response in selecting and funding their own athletes for the tournament. "New Delhi, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh were the first state bodies to express interest and of the 150-plus athletes who travelled for the tournament, 91 were from New Delhi alone and the per athlete travel and accommodation costs worked out to roughly Rs 2.5 lakhs," says Mishra.
Rahul Bhatnagar, DG Sports Authority of India (SAI), on his part noted that once the enquiry report on the matter is submitted, the body might look to make federations like SGFI more accountable with regard to participation at international tournaments. "A few years ago, we brought into effect the current system, wherein unless teams and athletes are funded by us, SGFI wouldn't need to take our permission to dispatch teams for international tournaments. The idea was to make the process less cumbersome. But with this unfortunate incident we need to rethink on what needs to be done in future to make these federations answerable."