Italian football came to a halt on Saturday in the wake of the death on the pitch of Livorno midfielder Piermario Morosini during a Serie B league game at Pescara.
Morosini, 25, fell to his knees 30 minutes into the game and three times tried to stand up before collapsing on the pitch where he died from a cardiac arrest.
"I stormed onto the pitch immediately because I understood that the situation was serious," the ANSA news agency quoted Pescara's medical assistant Claudio D'Arcangelo as saying.
"I did not even wait for the ok from the referee. I gave him aheart massage and for a moment I had the sensation that he was recovering, but there was nothing to do."
Doctors confirmed that Morosini never regained consciousness despite intensive treatment at Pescara's Santo Spirito hospital.
"We did all that was possible to resuscitate the boy, we tried for more than one hour, but he never regained consciousness," LeonardoPaloscia, chief cardiologist at the hospital, said.
An autopsy on the athlete was to be performed Sunday.
It appears that a parked car delayed the entrance of the ambulance onto the pitch at the Stadio Adriatico, although it became clear that the footballer was already dead when he was taken to the hospital.
The Italian football federation called off all weekend games shortly after Morosini's death. The top flight Serie A was to start its 33th round with AC Milan v Genoa on Saturday, but the spectators already in the stadium were told that the game was cancelled.
Pietro Gnudi, the Italian minister of tourism and sport, said during a Radio 1 show that he felt "pain for the death of this young athlete and I am near to his family.
"I wonder if we should consider to make medical tests more thorough and more frequent because it is not acceptable that a boy of25 dies like this."
Morosini was born in the northern town of Bergamo and began playing in the local club Atalanta. He was owned by Serie A side Udinese, who since 2005 loaned him to several lower-division clubs. Livorno welcomed him in January.
He played with Italy's youth teams since 2001 and debuted with theunder-21 Azzurri squad in 2006.
It was a boy to whom we were very close, but he did all the camps with us," Udinese owner Giampaolo Pozzo told Radio 1. "He was polite, fair, very professional and everyone liked him.
"It was so traumatic that everyone did not even feel like talking about football today," Pozzo said about the orginally planned home game with Inter Milan late Saturday.
A message of support came also from FIFA president Joseph Blatter, who tweeted: "The tragedy that has hit those who loved him is a source of pain for all football fans. It is just tears. There are no words to express what I felt when I heard about Piermario Morosini's death."
Morosini is the second professional Italian footballer to die on the pitch.
The 1982 world champion Marco Tardelli recalled on Radio 1 the death of Perugia's Renato Curi, also for cardiac arrest, at 24.
Tardelli, who is now assistant coach to Giovanni Trapattoni at the Irish national squad, was playing with Juventus away to Perugia in October 1977.
"Today is a sad day as it was in Perugia, where the same thing happened with the poor Curi. I have no words to say but I send a hug to (Morosini's) family.
"(In Perugia) it was very dramatic. At once we understood that it was serious. We were all scared and sorry for him."
A heart attack also killed Roma's Giuliano Taccola in Cagliari in1969. Taccola was 25 when he collapsed in the changing rooms, without having played the game.
Volley-ball player Vigor Bovolenta was the latest victim in Italian sport. The former international had a heart attack on March24 while playing with lower-division Volley Forli. He died on the same day in a hospital, aged 37.
A week earlier, Fabrice Muamba, survived a heart failure while playing with English side Bolton against Tottenham in the FA Cup.
The death in Pescara followed a series of losses for Morosini, who lost both parent at a young age.
His former coach at Atalanta, Mino Favini, told ANSA that the player had a disabled brother who committed suicide. He is survived by a sister who is also disabled.
"Despite all these things, he had on his vaguely sad face an incredible sweetness and was always available for his team-mates," Favini said. (DPA)
<관련 한글 기사>
이탈리아 축구선수, 경기 중 심장마비 사망
이탈리아의 프로축구리그 세리에B 소속의 미드필더 피에르 마리오 모로시니(25)가 14일(현지시간) 경기 도중 심장 마비로 숨졌다.
잉글랜드 프로축구 불턴 원더러스 소속의 파브리스 무암바(25) 선수가 심장 발작으로 쓰러졌다 의식을 회복한 지 불과 한 달 만에 일어난 사고다.
리보르노 소속의 모로시니 선수는 이날 페스카라와의 세리에B 경기 도중 전반 31분이 지난 시점 심장 발작을 일으켰다.
선수가 쓰러진 직후 의무요원들이 심폐소생술 등 응급조치를 취했으나 모로시니 는 끝내 의식을 회복하지 못했다.
병원 측은 병원 도착 당시 이미 사망한 상태였다고 밝혔다.
이탈리아 축구협회는 선수의 사망 소식을 접한 직후 모든 주말 경기를 취소했다.
모로시니는 이탈리아 21세 이하 대표팀 출신으로, 아탈란타 유스에서 본격적인 선수 활동을 시작했다.
그는 세리에A 우디에네 소속이지만 임대 선수로 여러 클럽을 전전했다. 리보르 노에는 올해 1월 임대돼 미드필더로 활약했다.
한편 지난달에는 잉글랜드 프로축그 불턴 원더러스의 파브리스 무암바 선수가 심장마비 증세를 보이며 쓰러졌다가 며칠 만에 의식을 회복했다.
무암바는 위독한 상황에서는 벗어났지만 앞으로 선수 생활은 쉽지 않을 것으로 보인다.