Thousands of mourners
lined the streets and packed into a suburban church in the
northern city of Bergamo on Thursday for the funeral of
Piermario Morosini, the Italian footballer who collapsed on the
pitch and died last week.
Flowers, club scarves, football boots and banners with
messages such as "Ciao Moro, you will always be in our hearts"
hung on the railings outside the modern church in the Monterosso
district of Bergamo where Morosini grew up.
Thousands of people applauded and touched Morosini's coffin
as it was carried out of the church, draped in his number 25 red
Livorno shirt. Morosini, a former Italy Under-21 international,
was 25 when he died.
The black-and blue number 8 shirt he wore as a youth player
at his home club Atalanta was also put on the coffin as it was
placed in a hearse. Fans lit flares and chanted.
"This has not only hit the family but the whole community
and the whole of Italy," said Bergamo resident Gianpietro
Morosini collapsed on the pitch during a Serie B match
between Livorno and Pescara on Saturday, prompting the
cancellation of all Italian championship matches last weekend.
He was rushed to hospital but doctors were unable to revive
him. An autopsy failed to establish a cause of death but ruled
out heart attack or aneurysm. More tests were ordered.
An inquiry has been launched into whether there were delays
in trying to save Morosini's life. Controversially,
defibrillators were available but were not used.
The inquiry is also looking into whether vital minutes were
lost because a municipal police car blocked the entrance to the
stadium, briefly preventing an ambulance getting in. Police
smashed the window to move it.
Morosini's fate contrasted with the recovery of Bolton
Wanderers midfielder Fabrice Muamba, who suffered a cardiac
arrest during an FA Cup match in England on March 17.
clinically dead for 78 minutes and 15 defibrillator shocks were
applied to restart his heart. He was discharged from hospital
Morosini's death was all the more poignant because of his
tragic family life. He was providing for his severely disabled
younger sister after the death of their parents and the suicide
of a brother, who was also disabled.
Atalanta said they would take care of the player's sister
for the rest of her life.
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