UK & World News
Italy In Shock: Tributes For Footballer Morosini
Football fans in Italy and across the world were in shock after the death of Piermario Morosini, the Livorno midfielder who collapsed on the pitch following a cardiac arrest on Saturday.
The tragedy made front page headlines in every major newspaper in the country as fans and the greats of Italian football paid tribute.
Several thousand people gathered outside Livorno's Armando Picchi stadium to pay their respects to Morosini, who died during his team's Serie B game at Pescara.
The fans left scarves and flowers outside the stadium, where a banner read: "You fought until the end, goodbye great Moro."
Italian football chiefs called off all league games for the rest of the weekend.
The tributes came as Italy's sports minister led calls for more frequent health checks in sport.
Piero Gnudi said the "repetition" of the incidents - including the dramatic collapse of Bolton Wanderers footballer Fabrice Muamba last month - meant improvements must be made in health checks.
Udinese, the club that owned Morosini's sporting rights, have confirmed they will honour Morosino's memory by providing financial aid to his disabled sister - the only member of his family still alive after a series of tragedies that marked his young life.
A statement from Udinese read: "We are profoundly in pain for the premature death of Piermario Morosini."
Fifa president Sepp Blatter said he had "only tears" after hearing the news, which he described as a "matter of great sorrow" for football fans. He offered his condolences to Morosini's family.
Ernesto Randazzo, the player's agent, was still coming to terms with the tragic loss of the 25-year-old.
"I knew him for 13 years," he said.
"His aim was to make his stay at Livorno permanent. He had always been in very good condition and proof of that was all the medical check-ups he had undergone with all of the teams he had played for."
Livorno, the club Morosini had joined on loan in January from Serie A side Udinese, issued a statement thanking everyone for the overwhelming support they have received in the last few hours.
It said: "The family, the girlfriend of Piermario and AS Livorno Calcio wants to thank all of the people that in this time of pain have remembered a great athlete and a special person."
And AS Roma said in a club tweet: "Another young heart has stopped beating, leaving nothing but tears: ciao #moro".
The Italian press also expressed their shock and sadness over the death, with the tragedy making front page headlines in all the major newspapers in the country.
National newspaper La Repubblica led with Morosini's death with the headline: "He dies on the pitch, drama in football."
La Repubblica's editorial best summarised the sentiment of the nation, reading: "Incredulous and helpless."
A photograph of the player with the caption "Piermario Morosini 1986-2012" covered the front page of Gazzetta dello Sport.
"Death on the pitch, Italian football stops," ran Gazzetta's headline, which added: "Controversy regarding medical assistance."
An inquiry into Morosini's death will be opened after a parked car belonging to traffic police had initially blocked the ambulance's path into the stadium and its window had to be broken so the car could be moved.
Turin-based sports newspaper Tuttosport described the pain felt by everyone who knew Morosini.
"We have lost a son," read its headline, which added, "No-one can forget the horrible images of Pescara v Livorno."
Morosini fell to the ground in the 31st minute of the game and tried to get back up before collapsing again.
Despite desperate attempts to resuscitate him, Morosini never regained consciousness.
Corriere dello Sport had several photographs of the incident on the front page followed by a caption which read: "Tragedy in Pescara, Morosini suffers a sudden illness and dies. He was only 25."
Corriere's editorial makes reference to the series of personal tragedies that had hit Morosini in his young life.
"A life marked by pain," it read.
The Bergamo-born player had lost both his parents before he turned 18. Shortly after, Morosini also lost his disabled brother, who committed suicide, leaving him alone with his handicapped elder sister.
L'Eco di Bergamo newspaper paid tribute to Morosini's passion for the game.
"He had a promising future," ran its editorial, which added: "His hope was that football could give him something back seeing as destiny had taken everything he had."
Morosini moved to Udinese in 2005 from Atalanta's youth academy before embarking on a series of loan spells elsewhere - first at Bologna, then Reggina, Padova, Vicenza and finally Livorno.
He made 18 appearances for Italy's under-21s.
An autopsy will be conducted on Monday to ascertain whether Morosini's cause of death was linked to a problem with the brain or the heart.