See all those languages up there? We translate Global Voices stories to make the world's citizen media available to everyone.

Learn more about Lingua Translation  »

Italy: Tragic Death of Piermario Morosini Shocks the Soccer World

Since April 14, 2012, the Italian radio stations,  Twitter, Facebook, as well as blogs from across  the world have all been discussing the sudden, on-field death of Piermario Morosini, a 25-year-old soccer player, while playing for Livorno, a  Serie B team of the Italian football league system.

The site seneweb.com explains [fr] how this tragic event unfolded:

 Piermario Morosini, joueur de Livourne, est mort samedi [14 avril]. Durant la rencontre de Serie B entre Pescara et Livourne, le milieu de terrain s'est écroulé sur le terrain à la 31e minute de jeu, victime d'un arrêt cardiaque. Les secours se sont pressés autour de lui et ont tenté de le ranimer en lui prodiguant de nombreux massages cardiaques avec un défibrillateur. Mais rien n'y a fait, le footballeur âgé de 25 ans a succombé. Il est arrivé mort à l'hôpital.

Piermario Morosini, a player for Livorno, died on Saturday, April 14. During the Serie B match between Pescara and Livorno, in the 31st minute of the game, Morosini collapsed on the pitch, the victim of cardiac arrest. Medics rushed onto the field and attempted to resuscitate him. Despite their best efforts, the 25-year-old footballer succumbed. He was dead on arrival at the hospital.
"Rest in peace, Piermario Morosini " by @RealEsparta on Twitter

"Rest in peace, Piermario Morosini " by @RealEsparta on Twitter

Over the course of his brief life, Piermario Morosini suffered many hardships. The site meltybuzz.fr remembers [fr]:

avait évolué dans plusieurs clubs de Série B (Bologne, Vicenza, Reggina, Padoue et Livourne). Mais il avait surtout vécu plusieurs drames personnels. Il avait ainsi perdu sa mère à l’âge de 15 ans. Son père est décédé deux ans plus tard tandis que son frère mourrait également quelques temps après.

He played for many Serie B teams (Bologna, Vicenza, Reggina, Padova, and Livorno). However, during this period he also experienced several personal tragedies. He had lost his mother at the age of 15. Two years later, his father passed away. Shortly thereafter, his brother also died.

Cameroun24.net compares [fr] this tragedy to that of the soccer player from Cameroon's national team, Marc–Vivien Foé, who died in 2003 during an official match of the FIFA Confederations Cup:

Cet après-midi du Samedi 14 Avril 2012, les Italiens ont vécu le remake  du drame Camerounais du 23 Juin 2003 à Gerland où Marc –vivien Foé s’écroulait en plein match et décédait des instants après de suite d’arrêt cardiaque.

This Saturday afternoon, April 14, 2012, the Italians lived through a reenactment of the Cameroonian tragedy of June 23, 2003 at Stade de Gerland (a stadium in Lyon, France, home to the Ligue 1 club, Olympique Lyonnais) where Marc-Vivien Foé collapsed in the middle of a match, went into cardiac arrest, and instantly died.

The website maroc.senego.com recalls [fr] other sudden deaths of high-profile athletes in recent years:

Les images du joueur italien nous rappellent, tristement, celles du joueur du WAC Youssef Belkhouja, décédé lors d’un match de son équipe. D’autres joueurs ont subi le même sort sur le terrain, comme l’Espagnol Antonio Puerta (FC Séville, 2008), le Hongrois Mikos Feher (Benfica Lisbonne, en 2004) ou Marc-Vivien Foé lors d’un match avec le Cameroun (2003).

The images of the Italian footballer remind us, sadly, of the Wydad Casablanca athlete, Youssef Belkhouja, who also died during a match. Other players too have suffered the same fate on the field, such as the Spanish footballer Antonio Puerta (FC Seville, 2008), the Hungarian striker Mikos Feher (S.L. Benfica, 2004), and Marc-Vivien Foé, who died during a match being played by Cameroon (2003) (editor's note: the correct name of Hungarian athlete is Miklos Feher and Antonio Puerta died in 2007).

Although all of Italy is saddened by the tragedy, compounded by Morosini's youth and personal struggles, several controversies persist.  Valentin Pauluzzi writes [fr] on the site calciomio.fr:

Deux enquêtes ont été ouvertes à Pescara pour savoir si les secours se sont déroulés normalement. Première polémique, le non usage du défibrillateur malgré sa présence. … Autre trame judiciaire, le timing de l’ambulance, on sait que 6 minutes et 24 secondes sont passées entre le malaise de Morosini et le départ de l’ambulance….

Two investigations were opened in Pescara to discover whether aid was administered in the proper manner. The first question is why the medics brought the defibrillator onto the field, but did not appear to use it. …Another inquiry is focused on the timing of the ambulance, which left for the hospital six minutes and 24 seconds after Morosini's heart attack.

Matthias Bertoncelli explains this delay [fr] by pointing out that a car was blocking the ambulance's way onto the field:

La voiture en question serait un véhicule de police stationné devant l’entrée où transitent en cas de besoins les véhicules de secours et ceux des pompiers.

The car in question was a police vehicle. It was parked outside the entrance which is supposed to remain clear for the use of  emergency vehicles or firemen.

While insisting that this delay did not have any impact on Morosini's death, the mayor of Pescara acknowledged [fr] that the vehicle belonged to the local police and that the officer who was driving had been suspended pending an investigation. Further fueling the controversy was the fact that Piermario Morosini's fiancee was made to identify [it] the body in the morgue. The sight of a tear-stricken Anna Vavassori, a volleyball player barely 20 years old, touched all of Italy. The autopsy has not yet revealed the cause of death. On this subject, alex54.blogspot.it writes [fr]:

L'autopsie pratiquée sur le corps de Piermario Morosini, le joueur de Livourne foudroyé samedi en plein match, n'a pas révélé la cause exacte de son décès. “Il n'y a aucun signe évident qui nous permette de déterminer les raisons de la mort de ce garçon”, a déclaré Christian D'Ovidio, un responsable des services de santé. Des examens toxicologiques devraient être menés dans les jours à venir.

The autopsy performed on the body of Piermario Morosini, the Livorno footballer struck down during a match on Saturday, did not reveal the exact cause of his death. “There were no obvious signs that would enable us to determine the cause of the boy's death,” declared Christian D'Ovidio, a medical services official. Further toxicological exams would be conducted in the days to come.
The funeral, by Sol Acik on Twitter

The funeral, by Sol Acik on Twitter

As a mark of respect for this tragedy, sporting events around the world observed one minute of silence. The soccer clubs that had shared the services of the unfortunate athlete also took more concrete steps. The site sport-maroc.com revealed [fr]:

Le club de Livourne a annoncé que le maillot N.25, porté par Morosini, sera retiré. Udinese, qui a prêté en janvier le joueur au club toscan, a de son côté assuré qu’il s’occupera à l’avenir de la sœur du défunt.

The Livorno club announced that jersey #25, worn by Morosini, would be retired. The Serie A Udinese club, which had loaned Morosini to the Tuscan club [Livorno], stated that they would look after Morosini's sister, Carla Maria Morosini. (Carla is severely disabled and  relied on her brother for financial support).

Remi Lestang writes [fr] on the blog lestontonsdusport.fr:

Une situation qui a ému le club de l’Udinese, et plus particulièrement Antonio Di Natale. Ils ont promis de prendre soin d’elle. « Nous connaissons la situation de sa sœur et l’équipe, le club et Udinese for Life [l’association caritative du club] avons décidé de l’aider car elle est vraiment dans le besoin. …. Elle a déjà tout perdu, c’est essentiel de rester au côté de la sœur de Piermario pour le reste de sa vie. Elle a besoin de nous et nous voulons l’aider. Pour elle et pour Mario. », a déclaré le joueur.

This is a situation that moved the Udinese club, and in particular Antonio Di Natale ( captain of the Udinese team). They promised to take care of her. “We know the situation of his sister and the team, the club, and Udinese for Life [the club's charitable organization] decided to help because she is truly in need. …She has already lost so much, it is essential to stand alongside Piermario's sister for the rest of her life. She needs us, and we want to help her. For her and for Mario,” declared Di Natale.

For his part, the president of the Atalanta club, Antonio Percassi told [it] the press that he considered it his duty to take care of Carla Maria Morosini forever, as would have happened if Piermario's life had not been tragically cut short. This incident is prompting people to raise their voices and ask whether the pace to which these players are subjected, contributes to these sudden deaths. Cesare Prandelli, the manager of the Italian national soccer team, stated [it] during Piermario Morosini's funeral in Bergamo:

Di fronte a questa tragedia il calcio deve porsi degli interrogativi. Medicina sportiva e prevenzione in Italia sono all’avanguardia, ma si può migliorare’.

Faced with this tragedy, the football community must ask itself hard questions. Italy has state-of-the-art preventive sports medicine, but we must improve.

Alas, it was not the end of Morosini's ordeal.  The athlete's body was transported through many cities: to Pescara, where his team was playing when he lost his life; to Chieti, where the autopsy took place; to Livorno, the city of Morosini's team in which it is estimated that more than 8000 [fr] fans paid tribute to the athlete; and finally to Bergamo, where Piermario Morosini was laid to rest.

The wake [it] took place at Livorno's Armando Picchi Stadium in the presence of a great many supporters, while the April 19 funeral in the Church of San Gregorio Barbarigo [it] was broadcast on five local and national television channels [it]: Bergamotv.it, Sky tg 24, Tgcom24, Rai Sport Eco di Bergamo. Several thousand people, from sympathizers to representatives of the governing bodies of Italian sports, gathered in the church and along the road for several hundred meters.

According to a report on the program “La vita in diretta” [it] (Live from Life) telecast on the primary Italian television station, RAI UNO, the funeral ceremony recognized the personality of “Moro,” as Morosini was affectionately known. During the homily, the priest, one of Morosini's friends, recalled a touching phrase that the athlete had liked to repeat,”Me, I have more reasons to be grateful than I do to complain”,  despite all of the trials and tribulations that life had in store for him.

It has been decided by the local council that from now on, the bleachers in the south bend of the stadium in Bergamo (Stadio Atleti Azzurri d'Italia) will bear the name [it] of Piermario Morosini.

  • http://www.aparnaray.com/ Aparna Ray

    And the story continues. Yesterday, Norwegian swimming champion Alexander Dale Oen died in the US of a cardiac arrest. He was 26. Apparently he collapsed in the shower after training. Perhaps it’s time to re-examine the grueling schedules and regimens that athletes keep.

Receive great stories from around the world directly in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the best of Global Voices
* = required field
Email Frequency



No thanks, show me the site