Lazio fullback Lorenzo De Silvestri was left speechless after learning of the shooting death of friend Gabriele Sandri on Sunday.
Sandri, a DJ and Biancocelesti fan was accidentally shot by a wayward police bullet in a motorway service station near Arezzo.
"I am speechless," said De Silvestri as his team left San Siro without playing the planned match against Inter.
"He will always remain in my heart and those of the fans. He was the DJ at my 18th birthday party and from there we became friends. I even gave him my club shirt after the game with Cagliari."
It emerged that 28-year-old Sandri had sent De Silvestri a text message this morning, just hours before his untimely death at 9am.
"It said he had worked until 6am and was about to set off towards Milan to come and see us play."
The exact chain of events remains unclear, but his superiors are interviewing the officer who fired the gun this evening.
The authorities insist it was a tragic accident, while Sandri's lawyer and brother accuse the police of manslaughter or worse.
"In all honesty, I don't know how it happened," said De Silvestri, a promising youth product who has already starred for the Biancocelesti in Serie A and the Champions League.
"I am waiting to find out and then would like to say stop, we cannot carry on like this. The more we continue, the more of these incidents seem to happen. Sport has nothing to do with it."