Davide Astori died 'natural death' from heart issue, autopsy shows

Preliminary results of an autopsy on the body of Davide Astori confirmed that the Fiorentina captain died of natural causes related to a heart issue.

Astori was found dead in his hotel room on Sunday morning ahead of Fiorentina's scheduled Serie A game with Udinese, at the age of 31.

An autopsy was ordered to discover whether anyone should be held responsible for his death, but Antonio De Nicolo, the chief prosecutor of Udine who had ordered the autopsy to rule out manslaughter, confirmed that it had been a "natural death" related to a slow resting heart rate.

"Based on the evidence of the autopsy examination, carried out on March 6, 2018, on the body of Davide Astori, with reference to the cause of death, this cause can be indicated as of a cardiac nature, most likely a bradyarrhythmia with pluri-visceral congestion and a pulmonary oedema," De Nicolo told RAI television.

De Nicolo had opened an investigations to see whether anyone could be found culpable in Astori's death, and said a full report could take another two months.

"For a definite diagnosis, more profound histological examinations are necessary," De Nicolo added. "From the preliminary results, it does not seem like there is any external causes other than that of a natural death, but prudently our advisers are telling us that we must wait for the result of histological examinations before making a definitive statement.

"They have asked for 60 days to complete their report and that is when we will have a complete overview."

Astori's body will be transported on Wednesday to the Italian FA's technical centre in Coverciano, Florence, where it will be on view inside a room set up for people to pay their last respects to the defender.

The funeral will be held in Florence on Thursday morning. The mayor of Florence also announced that a day of mourning will be held with a memorial to be built "to remember Davide and enhance, through his figure, the clean, correct and human image of football and sport in general."

UEFA will hold a minute's silence before this week's games in the Champions League. On Wednesday, Juventus face Tottenham Hotspur at Wembley with several of Astori's former Italy teammates -- Gianluigi Buffon, Giorgio Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli -- expected to play for the Italian club.

After all of Sunday's Serie A games were postponed following Astori's death, Fiorentina's players returned to training on Tuesday afternoon in preparation for a fixture with Benevento next weekend. The postponed games, with the exception of the Milan derby, will be played April 3 and 4.

Earlier on Tuesday, Fiortentina and Astori's former club Cagliari both said they would retire his No. 13 shirt.