The Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) has expressed shock at the death of striker Chaswe Nsofwa in Israel.
Nsofwa died in an Israeli hospital on Wednesday minutes after collapsing during a training session with his second division side, Hapoel Beersheba.
It is still not known why Nsofwa collapsed.
FAZ president Teddy Mulonga told BBC Sport that he is still trying to come to terms with the shocking news.
"He may have had his own up-and-downs as a player but this is the guy who scored one of the goals in the Cosafa final last year when we beat Angola 2-0," he said.
"Chaswe was one of the great prospects at the 1999 Under-20 World Cup and was a great talent. I am sad, absolutely sad."
Zambia's caretaker trainer Patrick Phiri, who coached Nsofwa in the Under-20 team in 1999, said the death was a blow to the country's football.
He said he had been considering Nsofwa for next month's must-win Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against South Africa.
"My plans for the South Africa match have been dealt a big blow," he said. "It's very painful that the cruel hand of death has robbed us of such a talent.
"This is a great blow not only to his family, but the whole nation."
As well as starring for Zambia in 1999 during the Fifa Under-20 World Cup in Nigeria, he was also part of the Zambia squad at the 2002 Africa Cup of Nations in Mali.
Nsofwa played for Zambian champions Zanaco before spells in Russia and Malaysia. - BBC