DR Congo international Jody Lukoki dies aged 29
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DR Congo international Jody Lukoki dies aged 29

Jody Lukoki, a DR Congo international winger, has died at the age of 29, but the reason of his death is yet unclear.

Lukoki started his career with Ajax before moving on to PEC Zwolle, Ludogorets in Bulgaria, and Yeni Malatyaspor in Turkey.

The 29-year-old, who won three Eredivisie titles with Ajax, signed a two-year agreement with FC Twente in June but injured his cruciate ligament in pre-season training.

Twente then canceled Lukoki's contract in February due to "problems in his personal life," according to the club.

Twente confirmed the passing of Lukoki on Monday in a statement that read: "This morning FC Twente received the terrible news that Jody Lukoki has passed away.

"The club is shocked and deeply moved by this tragic event. FC Twente sympathises with his loved ones and wishes them a lot of strength in processing this great loss."

Zwolle also paid tribute: "PEC Zwolle has learned with dismay and sadness of the far too early death of former player Jody Lukoki.

"Lukoki will forever be remembered as PEC Zwolle's first goalscorer in an official European game. PEC Zwolle wishes the relatives of Jody Lukoki a lot of strength to bear this enormous loss."

While Turkish side Yeni Malatyaspor added: "We learned with sadness the news that Jody Lukoki, who wore our club's jersey in the 2020-2021 Super League season, passed away.

"Our condolences to his family and community."

Ajax Amsterdam also shared a tweet expressing the club’s condolences.

Lukoki played junior international football for the Netherlands but then switched to DR Congo, where he made his senior debut in 2015.

His three Leopards appearances were all in friendly matches, with his most recent being against Burkina Faso in 2020.