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Action vowed after soccer player's death on field

April 16, 2012 at 2:06 PM

ROME, April 16 (UPI) -- After the sudden death of Livorno's Piermario Morosini on the soccer field, Italian sports officials have pledged to act to avoid similar tragedies.

Morosini, 25, died Saturday after collapsing on the field during a match against Pescara. To facilitate mourning the weekend's scheduled games were postponed by the Italian Soccer Federation, the Italian news agency ANSA reported Monday.

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Morosini's death follows a number of similar incidents in Italian sports, and comes a month after volleyball player and Olympic silver medalist Vigor Bovolenta died after collapsing on the court.

Italy prides itself on its rigorous medical checks of athletes, and was mentioned as a model by Manchester City soccer Coach Roberto Mancini after player Fabrice Muamba suffered a heart attack on the field and nearly died in March.

At the time of Bovolenta's death, Italian Health Minister Renato Balduzzi said "a tragedy is always possible, but we have some of the highest standards in Europe."

Renzo Ulivieri, head of the Italian Soccer Coaches Association, suggested better safety preparation, telling ANSA, "A lot is already being done for prevention. It's possible to improve management of emergencies."

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