Europe

Morosini death: Fans throng Italy footballer's funeral

  • 19 April 2012
  • From the section Europe

Thousands of fans have converged on the Italian city of Bergamo for the funeral of footballer Piermario Morosini, who collapsed and died during a match.

The 25-year-old Livorno player had been playing in a second division match in Pescara last Saturday.

Initially it was thought Morosini had suffered a cardiac arrest but a post mortem on Monday proved inconclusive.

More than 10,000 people travelled to the church in what Italian media termed a "peaceful invasion" of Bergamo.

Among the mourners at San Gregorio Barbarigo church were Italy's national coach, Cesare Prandelli, and Italian league president Maurizio Beretta. Players from Atalanta, Udinese, Inter Milan and Parma were also there.

Piermario Morosini
Morosini collapsed in the 31st minute of Livorno's Serie B game at Pescara

One banner read "Piermario, one of us" while another said "Thanks for everything - you'll always be with us". In front of the coffin, fans had placed the scarves of various Italian football clubs, and football boots were attached to the gates of the church.

Three giant screens were erected outside the church so that the vast majority of fans who were unable to get inside were able to watch the ceremony.

On Wednesday hundreds of people queued to pay their final respects in the northern Italian city on the eve of the funeral.

A minute's silence will be held at matches across Italy this weekend.

The head of youth development at Morosini's first team, Atalanta, Mino Favini said: "He was a really sweet young man. He never asked anything for himself but always spoke up for others in the team. It's natural that with such characteristics Piermario was popular among his peers."

Morosini's death has raised questions about the procedures in place at Italian stadiums to deal with an emergency of the type that cost him his life.

Prosecutors are investigating whether a badly parked police car delayed the arrival of paramedics on the scene.

And Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti - visiting Italy's Olympic hopefuls - said lessons had to be learnt to prevent similar tragedies in the future.

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