The mortar attack was the second in as many days in the capital. On Tuesday, two mortars exploded near one of President Bashar al-Assad's palaces, causing material damage only.
SANA news agency said the mortars landed on Wednesday in a complex housing the Tishrin Stadium and a hotel next to it in the central Baramkeh district. Some players were practicing in the stadium at the time.
It said the player killed was from the Homs-based al-Wathbah club. He was wounded inside the hotel as some players were getting ready to go out and join the practice and died later at the hospital.
Players from al-Wathbah team who witnessed the attack identified the dead teammate as 19-year-old Youssef Suleiman, the team's striker. They said he was the father of a 6-month-old baby.
They said the mortars landed in front of Tishrin hotel next to the stadium where players normally stayed, and shattered some of the building's windows.
The attack hit a few hours before the team was to play against the Hama-based al-Mawaair club as part of the domestic league.
"We were collecting our things about to head to the stadium when we heard the first explosion and the windows were blown off," said Ali Ghosn, a 20-year-old player.
"Youssef was hit in the neck. We ran out to the corridor when the second explosion struck and I saw Youssef fall down bleeding from his neck," he told The Associated Press in Damascus as some of his colleagues wept.
Ali said Suleiman died shortly after he arrived at the hospital. Three other players were wounded, one of them in critical condition.
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