A professional soccer player was shot dead early Wednesday in Puerto Tejada, a city in southwestern Colombia, police said.

Edison Chara, who played for China's Dalian Aerbin club, was shot while playing cards with some friends in Puerto Tejada, which is in Cauca province.

The 31-year-old Chara, a forward who also played for teams in Colombia, Peru and Uruguay, was taken to the hospital in Puerto Tejada and later to a clinic in Cali, but he died from his wounds.

An argument apparently started while Chara and some other people were playing cards, and one of the other people involved in the game shot the soccer player, Cauca police chief Col. Carlos Ernesto Rodriguez said.

The soccer player was shot by someone in his circle of friends and investigators are trying to determine who pulled the trigger, Rodriguez said.

Chara played for Colombia's Atletico Huila, Deportivo Pereira, Deportivo Cali, America and Once Caldas.

He also played internationally for Montevideo's Wanderers and Peru's Sporting Cristal, Juan Aurich, Cienciano and Union Comercio clubs.

Chara, who was born in 1980 in the small town of Padilla, was the father of two boys.