ROME (AFP) – Italy was in shock on Sunday morning as the sober realisation sank in of the tragedy that befell Livorno midfielder Piermario Morosini the day before.
La Gazzetta dello Sport and Corriere dello Sport summed up the shocking incident with identical headlines: “Death on the pitch, football stops.”
Such was the disbelief that Corriere even repeated the fact with another headline: “Terrible, Morosini dies on the pitch.”
They used a running headline across a number of pages entitled: “Football in shock,” while they elaborated on the reaction with: “A river of tears for Moro. His coach (Armando) Madonna’s stare lost in the void.”
Journalist Bruno Bartolozzi said: “Watching live we all died with him,” before going on to quote Italy’s most famous poet Dante Alighieri’s passage from Purgatory about the voyage to the after-life.
Gazzetta chose to focus on the: “unfortunate life of a happy lad. His parents and brother dead, his sister disabled and then the love for his volleyball player girlfriend.
“The story of a footballer who had fought against everything.”
Gazzetta even called on the country to help Morosini’s sister who has now lost her entire family.
“When the mourning is over the football world will stay close to this woman and will help her.
“That’s the only way we can make sense of Piermario’s death.”
However, Gazzetta moved on to the controversy surrounding the delay in getting the ambulance onto the pitch to bring aid to Morosini.
It shows a sequence of shots, one of stewards trying to move the police vehicle blocking the entrance with the emergency services blocked behind it.
Another shows a Pescara player running alongisde an emergency worker with a stretcher.
“Inquiry into the emergency services, ambulance blocked, three minutes lost,” said Gazzetta.
“A police car blocked the passage to the pitch, it was moved by stewards and players.”
Tuttosport plumped for an emotional approach that reminded the Italian readership that this could have happened to anyone.
“We’ve lost a son. No-one could ever forget the terrible images from Pescara-Livorno.”
There was also a particlarly disturbing picture of the player lying motionless on the ground with his eyes open but lifeless.
“Morosini falls, he gets up twice but then goes down,” said Tuttosport, recounting the 25-year-old’s final dramatic battle with life.