Club launches fund to care for disabled sister of dead Italian soccer player

Story highlights

  • Piermario Morosini collapsed and died during game on Saturday
  • Morosini's parents and brother died when he was in his teens
  • Udinese sets up fundraising initiative to help disabled sister
  • Club's captain says it has a duty to look after her

Italian club Udinese has pledged to ensure the disabled sister of Piermario Morosini is looked after for the rest of her life following the sudden death of the footballer during a Serie B match on Saturday.

Morosini's parents and brother died in his teens, and his death at the age of 25 leaves only his sister, Maria Carla.

Morosini was playing on loan at Livorno from Serie A side Udinese, which said in a statement on its website that the severely disabled Maria Carla is cared for in a residential facility in Bergamo, and has "no-one left but an elderly aunt."

"Our duty is now not to leave her alone after fate has taken away from her all her family," Udinese said.

The club published the details of a bank account and is inviting donations from other clubs in order to establish a fund that will be administered by Maria Carla's legal guardian.

Morosini died after suffering suspected cardiac arrest during the first half against Pescara. He was taken to hospital where doctors tried unsuccessfully to revive him.

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All of the weekend's matches in the Italian league were postponed, and a period of silence was observed at many other games across the world.

Former Italy Under-21 international Morosini moved to Udinese in 2005, but made only five appearances and had been loaned out to several clubs. He joined Livorno in January.

"He was an exceptional lad, so full of life," Udinese captain Antonio di Natale told the club's television channel. "Despite all the problems he had, he was always at the disposal of the team and every day he gave us all strength."

Di Natale said it was the club's duty to look after Morosini's sister.

"We know the situation of his sister and we as a team, the club, and Udinese for Life (the club charity) have decided to help her because she is in real need," he said.

"It is essential that we stay at the side of Piermario's sister for her entire life. She needs us and we want to help, both for her and for Mario."

Livorno announced Monday it has retired the No. 25 shirt that Morosini was wearing at the time of his death.

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