Missing Swiss soccer player confirmed dead

Florijana Ismaili, a player on the Swiss national soccer team, has been confirmed dead by the Swiss Football Association. She was 24 years old.

Ismaili had been missing since Saturday, when she got into a swimming accident while at Lake Como, Italy. According to the BBC, she jumped into the water from a boat she rented with a friend, but never surfaced. Her body was recovered on Tuesday, and Italian authorities said that it was found at a depth of 670 feet.

The Swiss Football Association released a statement expressing their deep sadness at the loss of one of their own.

 

"The Swiss Football Association has the painful task of informing about the death of its national player Florijana Ismaili. We are all upset, deeply affected and very, very sad.”

 

Ismaili’s coach on the Swiss team, Nils Nielsen, shared his feelings about her loss with the BBC.

 

“It’s hard to accept that Flori is gone. She always had a smile on her face and inspired us with her happy nature. She was someone who faced every challenge and set the example. I can only imagine what it must be like for all those who knew Flori longer and closer than me. But my thoughts are with them in these difficult times.”

 

Lia Walti, Ismaili’s teammate, told the BBC that she held out hope that Ismaili would be found until the end.

 

“Until the last moment, I still had hoped for a miracle and wished in my heart that everything was just a bad dream. The news has hit me deeply and you can not find any right words at such a moment. I just hope very much that Flori did not have to suffer.”

 

Ismaili was the captain of the BSC Young Boys women's team, and had played for them since 2011. She was also named to the Swiss league's team of year for four successive seasons.

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Soccer Football - Women's World Cup - Semi Final - England v United States - Groupama Stadium, Lyon, France - July 2, 2019 The United States celebrate after the match REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
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