09 March, 2018
Rarely has the passing of a player been taken harder than the sudden death of Italian defender Davide Astori, who died in his sleep at the hotel, where Fiorentina, which he captained, was staying as it prepared to play Udinese on Sunday.
Giovanni Malago, president of the Italian Olympic Committee, which oversees Italian top-flight and global soccer, "spoke too soon", said a source very close to those concerned.
"Fiorentina have renewed Astori's contract. Maybe we are sad, but certainly not like his family". "Fiorentina rightly wants to take the right time to decide what to do".
The chief prosecutor in Udine, Antonio De Nicolo, confirmed on Monday that a manslaughter case would be opened.
"Fiorentina are in a state of shock and we ask for silence and respect from all parties", a club statement said Monday.
Midfielder Blaise Matuidi says they will be motivated to win for the former Fiorentina captain.
Saponara posted an poignant open letter on Instagram, which ends: "Wherever you are now, keep on defending our goal and enlighten the right path for us from the backline".
Astori made 14 appearance for Italy
Astori's death has left Italy in a state of shock. He spent time on loan at Roma and Fiorentina before joining the latter club two years ago on a permanent basis after a six-year tenure with Cagliari.
"I know it's so hard, it's impossible to take away that pain and find an explanation", he said.
Yesterday, 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 Chelsea manager described Astori as a "fantastic guy" on Sunday, but Alonso said that Conte had not given him the option of sitting out of the trip to City.
The defender's body was discovered in his hotel room when he failed to join players for breakfast at their hotel just before their match in Udine, in northeast Italy.
"This is a tragedy", Conte said. "It's very hard at this moment to find the right words for the family", Chelsea coach Conte told Sky Sports ahead of his team's Premier League match at Manchester City on Sunday.
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