Udinese president Giampaolo Pozzo has said that the death of Zebrette player Piermario Morosini ranks as one of the saddest moments of his career.
The 25-year-old was still owned by the Friulani, but left in January for a loan spell at Livorno, for whom he was playing when he suffered a cardiac arrest on the pitch against Pescara on Saturday. He was pronounced dead little more than an hour later.
Speaking at a press conference after the fatality, Pozzo said: "It's one of the saddest days of my career in football. In 26 years, I have never come across a tragedy like this.
"I learned of Morosini's illness on television. Initially I did not fear the worst, but only an hour and a half later, we found out the news of his death from the hospital.
"It's terrible news. We had owned him since 2005, and for over six years with us, he was a good guy and a great professional.
"He made several moves on loan, but he belonged to our regular training camp. This year we had him until January, before his transfer to Livorno."
Pozzo also spoke of the utter shock he and his players felt upon discovering the news of Morosini's death, but praised the FIGC for their promptness in making the decision to suspend all of the weekend's matches in Italy within minutes of the news emerging.
"The news has left us in a state of shock," he continued. "When the team learned of the news, they immediately expressed a desire not to play.
"Inter quickly agreed, but the decision was taken independently by the FIGC.
"Kudos to them for making the decision. The day is very sad. Nobody would have had the strength to take part in this game.
"It was the right decision and it was taken in a timely manner, in a few minutes."