ROME - Agence France-Presse
Football world mourns the death of Livorno midfielder Piermario Morosini, who died from a heart attack last week. AFP photo
Second division Italian team Livorno has retired the number 25, worn by Piermario Morosini before he died of a heart attack.
The 25-year-old was on loan from Udinese when he died during Saturday’s Serie B match at Pescara.
He had only joined the club at the end of January but Livorno announced on their website on Monday that the number 25 will no longer be used, as a mark of respect.
Meanwhile, the head of Italy’s third and fourth division football leagues has threatened to call off matches this weekend unless teams guarantee that they have a defibrillator at their grounds.
Lega Pro president Francesco Ghirelli said he wants clubs to ensure they have the life-saving equipment, after the death of Morosini, who collapsed during a division two match at Pescara.
“By Thursday we want a written confirmation from the club presidents that as agreed upon at the beginning of the season, there will be a defibrillator at the ground, otherwise there won’t be any play on Sunday,” Ghirelli said.
Automated external defibrillators (AED) can be crucial in helping to save people’s lives by giving an electric shock in some cases of cardiac arrest.
The use of an AED at Pescara on Saturday was reportedly delayed by three minutes due to the ambulance being blocked from entering the stadium by a police car parked in front of an entrance.
However the AED would not have been used on the player as his heart had already stopped beating. Di Natale questions future
Udinese captain Antonio Di Natale said he has questioned his own future in the game after the tragic death of former teammate.
Di Natale, 34, said that footballers were now being asked to play too much, although he did not attribute that as a factor in Morosini’s death.
“I’m speaking for myself because I’ve been playing football for 18 years,” he added. “Playing twice a week is very difficult.”
Di Natale said he was struggling to cope with Morosini’s death and had already thought about retiring -- but insisted he had not made any firm decision.
“I’ve known him for seven years, he never let on that he didn’t have a father or mother.
“I only found out a couple of years ago about his problems. He was a lad who wanted to live and make everyone else live. I will do whatever I can to help his sister.”
Morosini’s parents both died while he was still a teenager and his brother, who was disabled, committed suicide soon afterwards. Now with his death, he leaves behind a disabled older sister.
Udinese have vowed to look after her now that she is left with no immediate family.