Former Lithuanian international goalkeeper Valdemaras Martinkenas has died in Slovenia prior to Estonian champions FC Flora's UEFA Champions League first qualifying round second-leg tie against NK Gorica.
The 39-year-old, who was goalkeeping coach for Flora and the Estonian national team, went for a swim in a mountain river on Tuesday, the day before the game in Nova Gorica, got caught in strong currents and drowned.
Result 'has no importance'
Going into Wednesday's second leg, Flora trail Gorica 4-2. "All our minds and hearts are with Valdas and his family," said Flora president Aivar Pohlak. "We will play for him, but the result has no importance for us at this devastating moment."
As a player, Martinkenas featured in the Soviet, Baltic, Lithuanian, Ukrainian, Swiss, Estonian, Finnish and Russian leagues as well as appearing twice for FC Dynamo Kyiv in the UEFA Champions League. He was capped 18 times by his country.
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