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Switzerland officials say the older brother of coach Ottmar Hitzfeld has died on the eve of the team's second-round match against Argentina.
Team spokesman Marco von Ah said on Tuesday (local time) that Hitzfeld "is very sad" but will stay with the team for its crucial game.
Von Ah added the coach is looking ahead and "wants everybody to do so and respect his private sphere."
The team did not give any details of the death. Swiss media said the 81-year-old Winfried Hitzfeld died in a Basel hospital.
A win over Argentina would equal Switzerland's greatest World Cup achievement, putting them in the quarterfinals for the first time since it hosted the tournament in 1954.
The 65-year-old Hitzfeld has said he will retire after the tournament.
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