Livorno midfielder Piermario Morosini has died after suffering a suspected heart attack during an Italian second division match at Pescara on Saturday, with all further football in Italy being suspended.
The 25-year-old, on loan from Udinese, collapsed suddenly in the first half of the game, leading to the match being abandoned. He was treated on the pitch before being taken away by ambulance to the Civile Santo Spirito hospital in Pescara. However, later he was pronounced dead.
The Italian Football Federation general manager Antonello Valentini responded to today's tragedy by suspending all remaining weekend football, starting with the Serie A match between AC Milan and Genoa. Italian Olympic Committee president Giovanni Petrucci later invited all Italian sports federations to observe a minute's silence in memory of Morosini.
Morosini had been conscious when put in the ambulance, but his condition was said to be serious when he arrived at hospital.
The Lega Serie A said in a statement on their website: "The football world mourns the tragedy that occurred this afternoon in Pescara, where during the game between the hosts and Livorno, the player Piermario Morosini slumped to the ground suffering from a heart attack. Transported to the hospital, the young midfielder was put into an induced coma, but died at around 1700.
"The FIGC has suspended, in memory of Piermario, all games scheduled over the weekend."
Morosini's death comes just under a month after Bolton Wanderers' midfielder Fabrice Muamba collapsed after suffering a cardiac arrest during his side's FA Cup quarter-final match against Tottenham Hotspur.
The 24-year-old's heart stopped as medics battled to keep him alive at the stadium and then in hospital on 17 March. But Kinshasha-born Muamba has since made incredible progress, boosting hopes that he will make a full recovery.
The incident led to calls for stringent heart checks to be made on professional footballers, following the example of those conducted in the Italian game.