A prosecutor from Italy has confirmed that "criminal proceedings" have been opened surrounding the sudden death of Fiorentina captain Davide Astori, but insists that it is normal procedure.

The 31-year-old was found dead in his hotel room early on Sunday morning just hours before La Viola were set to face Udinese in the Serie A.


Just over 24 hours after news broke of Astori's passing, prosecutor Antonio De Nicolo confirmed that a case into his death had been opened - claiming that manslaughter charges have been brought against "unknown persons".

"We have opened criminal proceedings over the hypothesis of manslaughter," De Nicolo told Radio Rai - quoted by Football Italia. "For now, it’s been brought against unknown persons. We’ve arranged an autopsy, which will be performed soon."

De Nicolo then clarified that the opening of legal proceedings are standard procedure, asserting that there is a "duty" to investigate Astori's death.

"We have a duty to ascertain whether Astori’s death was a tragic fatality of if someone knew something," he told ANSA. "For now, no-one is responsible, neither is there anyone who seems as if they could answer anything.

"The start of this judicial procedure allows us to identify any responsibility on the part of anyone."

Astori's sudden passing shook the footballing world and the hierarchy at the ​Serie A made the noble decision to suspend all games on Sunday as a mark of respect for the former Italy international.

Players from across Europe came out to express their shock and sadness at the tragic news on Sunday, with clubs also offering their condolences to Astori's family and everyone connected with Fiorentina.