The Slovak Football Association confirmed on Saturday reports from local media that Marek Špilár, a former national team and Club Brugge defender, committed suicide. Reports state that he jumped out of a fifth-floor apartment in northeastern Stropkov, Slovakia.
Špilár, 38, had been capped 30 times for Slovakia between 1997 and 2002, making his final appearance for his national team in a Euro 2004 qualifier against Turkey in September 2002. The highlight of his club career was winning two league championships with Club Brugge in Belgium, in 2002-03 and 2004-05, and a Belgian Cup in 2004, before ending his career with Nagoya Grampus Eight in Japan in 2007.
He played as a central defender or defensive midfielder. Before leaving for Belgium, he played for FC Košice in his home country when it became the first Slovak club to qualify for the group stage of the Champions League in 1997-98.
The SFZ announced that it would observe a minute’s silence before Slovakia’s World Cup qualifier on Tuesday against Bosnia-Herzegovina in Žilina, and the team would wear black armbands for the game. The away team won the game, 2-1, with two late goals overcoming an early Marek Hamšík strike for Slovakia.