Italian player dies during match

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Piermario Morosini (right) went into cardiac arrest during a match Saturday and died. He was 25.  FILE/ASSOCIATED PRESS
FILE/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Piermario Morosini (right) went into cardiac arrest during a match Saturday and died. He was 25.

MILAN — Livorno midfielder Piermario Morosini died Saturday after suffering cardiac arrest and collapsing on the field during a Serie B match at Pescara. He was 25.

Edoardo De Blasio, a cardiologist at Pescara’s Santo Spirito hospital, confirmed the death.

“Unfortunately he was already dead when he arrived at hospital,” De Blasio said. “He didn’t regain consciousness.”

Morosini, who was on loan from Udinese, fell to the ground in the 31st minute of the match and tried unsuccessfully to get up several times before receiving medical attention on the field. A defibrillator was used on the player, who also had his heart massaged, before an ambulance arrived on the field. He was taken to the hospital where doctors tried to revive him for more than an hour.

A consultant in the hemodynamics department at the hospital, who was watching the game and rushed to help before the ambulance arrived, said Morosini never regained consciousness.

“Morosini never had a single heartbeat again,” Leonardo Paloscia said. “From when I arrived he never gave a sign of revival, not in his respiration nor his heartbeat. When I arrived everything (his heart, respiration) was stopped.

“No one can say what the cause was, I think nothing will come out until after the autopsy.”

The autopsy likely will be held on Monday. All Italian matches this weekend were called off after the death was announced.

It was the latest high-profile case of a soccer player collapsing from heart failure on the field, coming less than a month after Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba suffered cardiac arrest during a game in England.

Muamba survived, but remains in intensive care with steady progress.

An inquiry into Morosini’s death will be opened and focus on the car belonging to traffic police that blocked the ambulance’s way into the stadium. A window had to be broken so the car could be moved, while players and officials were frantically gesturing for the ambulance to get there.

The match was abandoned with Livorno leading 2-0, and several players left the field in tears. Livorno players and officials rushed to hospital.

“Only tears. There are no words to express what I tried to when I found out about Piermario Morosini’s death,” FIFA President Sepp Blatter tweeted in Italian. “The tragedy which hit everyone who wished him well, is a source of great pain for football fans.”


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