Italian league player dies midmatch after suffering cardiac arrest

CBSSports.com wire reports
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Medics work on Piermario Morosini as the Livorno midfielder lies on the turf Saturday. (AP)  
Medics work on Piermario Morosini as the Livorno midfielder lies on the turf Saturday. (AP)  

PESCARA, Italy -- Livorno midfielder Piermario Morosini died Saturday after suffering cardiac arrest and collapsing on the pitch during his team's Serie B match at Pescara. He was 25.

Edoardo De Blasio, a cardiologist at Pescara's Santo Spirito hospital, confirmed the death, saying, "Unfortunately he was already dead when he arrived at hospital. He didn't regain consciousness."

It was the latest high-profile case of a football player collapsing from heart failure on the pitch, 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.

All Italian matches this weekend were immediately called off after the death was announced.

Morosini, who was on loan from Udinese, fell to the ground in the 31st minute of the match and tried unsuccessfully to get up before receiving urgent medical attention on the pitch. A defibrillator was used on the player, and he was conscious when he was stretchered off the pitch.

"He looked at me in the eyes when he was taken into the ambulance," Pescara's general manager, Danilo Iannascoli, told Sky Italia. "We are living through a drama."

Italian media reports said a car belonging to traffic police blocked the ambulance's way into the stadium and a window had to be broken so the car could be moved.

"I don't know if the ambulance was late, but I know that the entrance onto the pitch was blocked by a vehicle," Iannascoli said. "Morosini collapsed, he tried to get back up but then collapsed again."

The match was abandoned with Livorno leading 2-0, and the other players left the field in tears. Livorno players and officials rushed to hospital, where they were told their teammate had passed away. They were paying their respects to the body before it is moved to the morgue.

Last month, Muamba collapsed during an English FA Cup match against Tottenham after suffering cardiac arrest. Bolton has said he is making "strong and steady improvements" in his recovery.

Days after that, Indian football player D. Venkatesh died after collapsing on the field during a local league game in the southern city of Bangalore.

Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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