The coach of Kazakhstan's U-21 side and FK Atyrau, Anton Shokh, has died suddenly of a heart attack.
The 49-year-old collapsed after the 2-2 draw at FC Vostok on the first day of the Premier League season. "He felt bad in the dressing room after the final whistle," Shokh's assistant Igor Vostrikov said. "This is a great loss for Kazakhstan football."
As a player, Shokh won a league title in the Soviet Union with FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk in 1988 and added the domestic cup the following year. He was appointed as Kazakhstan's U-21 coach last month, but did not have the honour of leading them in a fixture.
FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter wrote a letter of condolence to his counterpart at the Football Federation of Kazakhstan, Mr. Adilbek Dzhaksybekov in which he mourned ‘the tragic passing of Anton Shokh.'
He wrote: "On behalf of FIFA and the worldwide family of football, I wish to extend our condolences to you, to the Kazakh football community and, most importantly, to Anton Shokh's family, friends and loved ones.
Please let them know that today the football communit stands by their side. We would hope that in some way, our words of support may help bring a little bit of peace and solace in this time of sadness."