Curacao goalkeeper Jairzinho Pieter dies aged 31
- Celia Perrone
The player passed away in a hotel as his nation prepared for its Concacaf Nations League match against Haiti.
Curacao goalkeeper Jairzinho Pieter has died at the age of 31, Concacaf confirmed on Monday.
The federation said that Jairzinho passed away Monday morning at the hotel in Port-au-Prince where the Curacao team are staying before their Concacaf Nations League match against Haiti.
The cause of death was not immediately known, though reports indicated that the player suffered from heart problems.
Jairzinho earned 11 caps for Curacao during his career, making the roster for the 2017 and 2019 Gold Cup.
In the 2019 tournament, Curacao advanced to the quarter-final stage, where they were beaten by the United States as the nation achieved its best ever result in a Gold Cup.
Despite the tragedy, Concacaf said in a statement that the game between Curacao and Haiti would go ahead as planned on Tuesday.
"The Confederation has been informed by the Curacao Football Federation that following consultation with the players, it has decided to play tomorrow’s match against Haiti in tribute to their team-mate," the statement read.
"A moment of silence was conducted today in Concacaf Nations League matches and will be held before kickoff tomorrow, as the entire Confederation pays its respect to Jairzinho for his contributions to the game."
On Monday, Curacao's starting goalkeeper Eloy Room posted a video on Twitter confirming Jairzinho's death and showing the country's players paying tribute to their team-mate.
RIP Jarzinho Pieter #22 🙏🏾🇨🇼 pic.twitter.com/FU7k6dFdd1— Eloy Room (@EloyRoom) September 9, 2019
Concacaf president Victor Montagliani also posted a statement on Twitter.
"Deeply shocked to learn about the passing of Curacao’s goalkeeper Jairzinho Pieter, an extraordinary homegrown player. Our thoughts and condolences to his family, team-mates and the FFK," Montagliani said.
Curacao defeated Haiti 1-0 on Saturday in both teams' first Group D match of the Concacaf Nations League. Costa Rica rounds out the three-team group.