Experienced Burundi international Papy Faty died after collapsing during an eSwatini league match (formerly Swaziland) this week, the Burundi football federation said on Friday.
The 28-year-old who made 28 international appearances was playing for Malanti Chiefs on Thursday when he collapsed and was pronounced dead after being taken to a local hospital later in the day.
"My most sorrow condolences to the family of the deceased and all that of Burundian football, it's a difficult blow with Burundi having qualified for the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations," president of the senate of the Burundi federation Reverien Ndikuriyo tweeted.
Faty, who had spells with Maastricht in the Dutch second-tier and clubs in South Africa had collapsed twice during matches in 2016.
He was forced to stop playing for a year by Johannesburg's Bidvest Wits due to cardiac problems before returning to play in 2017.
In January 2017 he told Burundian news website akeza.net he did not suffer from heart issues but rather had been "bewitched".
His contract with Durban-based Real Kings was terminated in 2018 due to the health problem and he then moved to the eSwatini league.
Faty had recently refused to have surgery in favour of representing his country in their first appearance at an Africa Cup of Nations finals held in Egypt between June 21 and July 19 this year.