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Soccer players to look after dead team-mate's disabled sister


Medics assist Piermario Morosini on the turf of the Pescara's Adriatico stadium, central Italy, Saturday.

Players at an Italian soccer team have pledged to look after the severely-disabled sister of their former team-mate Piermario Morosini, who died on Saturday after collapsing on the pitch during a game.

Antonio Di Natale, player for Serie A side Udinese, said Monday he and colleagues would provide financial and emotional support to the Maria Carla, for whom Morosini was the main carer.

Morosini, who was on loan to Serie B side Livorno, collapsed during a game against Pescara on Saturday and died on his way to the hospital at the age of 25.

He was orphaned in his teens. His mother died when he was 15 and his father died two years later. His brother, also disabled, committed suicide shortly after that.

Di Natale promised the other players, and the club’s affiliated charity Udinese For Life, will now look after her.

"We know the situation of his sister and we as a team, the club, and Udinese for Life have decided to help her because she is in real need," Di Natale told the club’s website.

"It is essential to stay by the side of Piermario’s sister for her entire life. She needs us and we want to help,” he said.

"When I saw the scene on the television it was immediately clear that it was something serious. It was a very bad moment. He was an exceptional lad, so full of life. Despite all the problems he had, he was always at the disposal of the team and every day he gave us all strength."


Udinese's Antonio Di Natale, shown in this file image from March 2012.

The site also gave details of a fund created to pay for her care, noting that this was only the latest tragedy to hit the family.

The BBC reported that Serie A, Italy's top football league, cancelled all its matches on the weekend after his death.

Meanwhile England soccer player Fabrice Muamba was discharged Monday from the hospital where he had been treated since collapsing from a cardiac arrest during a game less than a month ago.

The former England under-21 international had been in the London Chest Hospital since collapsing on March 17. His heart stopped beating on its own for 78 minutes while doctors worked to resuscitate him and his prospects of survival were uncertain.

It is still unclear whether Muamba will be able to play professionally again.

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