Tributes will be paid before Champions League and Europa League games to honour Italian player Davide Astori. (Photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Minute’s silence to honour Astori at UEFA games

NYON, Switzerland — Tributes will be paid before Champions League and Europa League games this week to honour Italian player Davide Astori, who died over the weekend.

UEFA said Monday there will 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 plays at Tottenham in the Champions League on Wednesday, and Milan and Lazio host Europa League games on Thursday against Arsenal and Dynamo Kyiv, respectively.

The 31-year-old Astori was found dead in his hotel room on Sunday 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 Monday. “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 on Tuesday and Astori’s body will be brought back to Florence the following day and taken to Italy’s national training centre, on the outskirts of the city, for people to pay their respects.

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

He leaves behind his wife and a 2-year-old daughter.

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