Lia Walti has been ‘hit deeply’ by the death of Swiss footballer Florijana Ismaili.
The 24-year-old was declared missing at the weekend after she jumped from a boat into Lake Como in Italy and failed to resurface. Her body was, tragically, found a few days later by Italian rescue services, submerged at 204 metres.
“Until the last moment, I still had hoped for a miracle and wished in my heart that everything was just a bad dream,” Walti said.
“The news has hit me deeply and you cannot find any right words at such a moment. I just hope very much that Flori did not have to suffer.”
Ismaili played for and captained BSC YB Frauen. She was a full Swiss international with 33 caps and three goals.
Lara Dickenmann, another teammate said, “We are all incredibly sad and shocked. It is inconceivable that Flori is no longer with us.”
“I am deeply saddened and shaken. It’s hard to accept that Flori is gone,” said Swiss women’s boss Nils Nielsen.
Liverpool forward Xherdan Shaqiri said he was “deeply shocked” by the news.
Swiss men’s team national coach Vladimir Petkovic said, “In the sky a star has gone out. We are very, very sad.”
Gianni Infantino, FIFA president, said, “This is an extremely sad moment for all the football community, particularly at a time when we gather at the FIFA Women’s World Cup.”
UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin added, “UEFA and the European football community is deeply shocked and saddened by the death of Florijana Ismaili.
“We extend our deepest sympathy to her family and friends at this sad moment.”