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Zenit St. Petersburg FC sports director suddenly dies aged 49

October 08, 1:26 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Konstantin Sarsaniya was reportedly killed by a blood clot

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Konstantin Sarsaniya, the director of sports for Russian football club Zenit St. Petersburg

Konstantin Sarsaniya, the director of sports for Russian football club Zenit St. Petersburg

© Alexei Krutov/TASS

MOSCOW, October 7. /TASS/. Konstantin Sarsaniya, the director of sports for Russian football club Zenit St. Petersburg, suddenly died at the age of 49, the team said on its official website on Saturday.

Although the cause of his death was not officially announced, football agent Alexei Safonov told TASS Sarsaniya was killed by a blood clot.

"This is very unexpected and sad news. They say he was killed by a blood clot. I talked to him the day before yesterday and everything was fine," Safonov said.

Russian deputy prime minister and the president of the Russian Football Union, Vitaly Mutko, described Sarsaniya as "a smart, kind and honest person, and a devoted professional."

"The news came as a shock for me," he said. "I would like to convey my condolences to his relatives and friends, his football club and the Russian football in general."

Sarsaniya, a former professional football player and coach, was appointed to the post of the director of sports for Zenit in 2006. In 2008, he became an advisor to the club’s president on transfer and player selection issues.

In 2009, Sarsaniya became the director of sports for the Dinamo Moscow football club. In May 2017, he returned to a similar post in Zenit several days after his former colleague Sergei Fursenko was appointed to the post of the club’s president and board chairman.

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