March 5, 2018 / 3:08 PM / 19 days ago

Italy prosecutors open investigation into Astori death

ROME (Reuters) - Italian public prosecutors are to open proceedings to determine whether the sudden death on Sunday of Fiorentina captain Davide Astori could be considered as manslaughter.

FILE PHOTO - Soccer Football - Serie A - Fiorentina vs Juventus - Stadio Artemio Franchi, Florence, Italy - February 9, 2018 Fiorentina's Davide Astori reacts. Picture taken February 9, 2018 REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi

The 31-year-old, who made 289 Serie A appearances and played 14 times for Italy, died suddenly at the team hotel in Udine ahead of a match at Udinese. The game was postponed along with all of Sunday’s other Serie A fixtures.

Udine public prosecutor Antonio De Nicolo told state broadcaster Rai in a radio interview that an autopsy would be carried out on Tuesday.

“It’s our duty to discover whether this was a tragic piece of misfortune or whether someone could have detected something,” he said, adding that there was no indication of foul play or suspicions against any individual.

Prosecutors in Italy are obliged to investigate such cases.

On Monday, fans continued to gather at Fiorentina’s Artemio Franchi stadium to pay tribute to the player, leaving flowers, scarves and messages such as “Ciao, Capitano”.

The club said on Twitter that his funeral would take place in Florence on Thursday and European soccer body UEFA said there would be a minute’s silence before all this week’s Champions League and Europa League matches.

Writing by Brian Homewood in Bern; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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