ROME: The remainder of the professional league programme this weekend in Italy has been postponed after former under-21 international Piermario Morosini died after a suspected heart attack on the pitch.

The midfielder was playing for Livorno in Serie B at Pescara when he collapsed in the 31st minute. An assistant alerted the referee who stopped the game.

An ambulance was summoned but could not gain immediate access to the pitch because of a parked police car. In the meantime a defibrillator was used before the 25-year-old was taken to Pescara’s Santo Spirito hospital .

A specialist said later that the delay in bringing the ambulance to Morosini was not a contributory factor in his death which was assessed as having been almost instant.

Morosini’s life had been a mixed one. He was orphaned as a child and a brother also died young. Although he was judged a promising enough player to make 18 appearances for Italy at under-21 level between 2006 and 2009, he never stayed long at any club.

Born in Bergamo on July 5, 1988, Morosini played as a junior for local Atalanta and was then loaned in 2005 to Udinese, making his serie A debut against Internazionale in October 2005.

Further loans followed to Bologna and Vicenza in Serie B before Udinese bought him outright in 2009 for €1.5m. However they sent him out on loan yet again to Reggina, Padova and then Vicenza again. He was despatched to Livorno, on loan once more, in January this year.

Last month Bolton’s Fabrice Muamba was technically “dead” for 78 minutes after collapsing in an FA Cup tie at Tottenham. The 24-year-old England player is now making “strong and steady improvements”.

= = = =