Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Football | Italy

Piermario Morosini lies on the pitch © Reuters Images

Italian football suspended after player death



Livorno's Piermario Morosini has died after suffering a cardiac arrest during an Italian second division game at Pescara on Saturday, prompting the country's soccer federation to postpone this weekend's professional matches.

"We have done everything possible to save him but he never regained consciousness," doctor Leonardo Paloscia told reporters.

Another doctor at the Pescara hospital said the 25-year-old, a former Italy under-21 international who was at Udinese until January, was dead on arrival at hospital.

The news comes just weeks after Bolton Wanderers midfielder Fabrice Muamba suffered the same problem in an English FA Cup match before making a remarkable recovery.

Serie A said in a statement that the federation had postponed all the weekend's professional soccer matches.

Morosini, born in Bergamo and a former player with the city's Atalanta team, fell to the ground with no one around him in the 31st minute.

He got up looking confused and then collapsed again as medics and then an ambulance rushed on to the field, although media reported that the local council will hold an investigation into whether the ambulance was blocked by the car of a police officer.

The Serie B game was abandoned with Livorno leading 2-0.

Italy and Inter Milan defender Andrea Ranocchia was a friend of Morosini, who was orphaned as a teenager and also lost a brother.

"There is huge grief. It leaves an enormous hole," he told Inter's website from Udine where their late game with Udinese never started.

AC Milan were due to host Genoa in Serie A in an earlier kickoff at 1600 GMT and fans were already inside the stadium waiting for the game when the news came through from Pescara.

At first Milan said there would be a minute's silence but then the public announcer told the crowd the game would be postponed along with all other Serie A matches this weekend.

There was applause but also some whistles.

The Italian Olympic Committee (CONI), which confirmed Morosini had suffered a cardiac arrest, announced in a statement that all other sporting events taking place this weekend would hold a minute's silence.

The issue of soccer players' health has long been in focus across the game with extra medical and heart checks being brought in throughout many leagues.

TEARFUL PLAYERS

Marc-Vivien Foe collapsed during Cameroon's 1-0 victory against Colombia in a Confederations Cup match in June 2003 in Lyon, France and died shortly afterwards aged 26.

The shock over that high-profile death, one of at least 20 in the last 20 years in professional soccer leagues, led to changes but some believe more needs to be done.

In the wake of Bolton's Muamba suffering a cardiac arrest while playing at Tottenham Hotspur in an FA Cup quarterfinal on March 17, Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini - an Italian - said English medicals were not as good as in his homeland.

Muamba too fell to the ground with no one near him and doctors later said he had been "in effect dead" for 78 minutes while his heart did not beat on its own. He was revived and has gone on to make extraordinary progress in hospital.

He is now walking and recently tweeted a photograph of himself sitting up in bed and smiling.

The Italian medical system hailed by Mancini did not help Morosini, however. Tearful Livorno players travelled to the hospital to pray alongside his body.

Italy is used to sporting tragedy.

Last month former Italy volleyball international and Olympic silver medallist Vigor Bovolenta, 37, died on court in a fourth division game after a similar heart problem to Morosini.

Last October, popular MotoGP rider Marco Simoncelli was killed in a crash at the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Franco Ballerini, the coach of Italy's cycling team, also died in a rallying accident in 2010.

Shop

Gerrard: My Autobiography
Steven Gerrard is a hero to millions, not only as the inspirational captain of Liverpool FC, but as a key member of the England team.
R161.00
Rafa: My Story
Revelatory memoir from the greatest sportsman in the world today.
R182.00
Mitre Monde Soccer Ball - White
Voted as one of the UK's favourite match balls
R219.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Sports Talk



Carol Radull
How do you pay tribute to Thierry Henry?
If you’re a fan of the classic musical “The Sound of Music” then you will be familiar with the...

Dr Errol Sweeney
Some refs invite criticism
Why is it that some referees appear to invite criticism? Why is it that some referees put a...

Neil Tovey
Backing Tinkler for the big time
With Vladimir Vermezovic having jumped ship, Orlando Pirates find themselves in a state of flux.

Chima Emmanuel Aguma
Wenger in or out? I say out!
After Arsenal’s loss to Stoke City this past weekend, the call for Arsene Wenger to step down as...

Sunday Oliseh
Football's new undisputed best club?
When Barcelona appointed Pep Guardiola as head coach in 2008, their primary objective was to stop...

Arjun Vidyarthi
Make or break time
Ten years ago today, I remember Andy Gray's iconic commentary at Anfield, when Steven Gerrard...