Italy footballer Morosini dies after collapse on pitch

Piermario Morosini
Image caption Morosini had been on loan to Livorno from the Serie A club Udinese

Ex-Italy under-21 footballer Piermario Morosini has died following a suspected heart attack on the pitch, football officials say.

The midfielder was playing for Livorno in the Serie B match at Pescara when he fell to the ground in the 31st minute.

A defibrillator was used and Morosini, 25, was taken to hospital. The game was halted with other players in tears.

All league games in Italy this weekend have been called off following Morosini's death.

Morosini had been on loan to Livorno from the Serie A club Udinese.

He collapsed face down and appeared to be in convulsion. The referee's assistant drew the referee's attention and he stopped the game.

The footballer was taken to Pescara's Santo Spirito hospital by ambulance, but he could not be revived.

Last month Bolton's Fabrice Muamba was technically "dead" for 78 minutes after collapsing in an FA Cup tie.

The 24-year-old England player is now making "strong and steady improvements".

Following Muamba's collapse, attention had been drawn to the situation for athletes in Italy, which has mandatory cardiac screening for all young people engaged in organised sport.

The charity Cardiac Risk in the Young says that the Italian measures have reduced the incidence of young sudden cardiac death in Italy by 90% in the 30 years since the screening was introduced.

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