“This morning my phone rang and it was Brunelli of the Lega Serie A, telling me it was urgent and dramatic news," explained Malagò in a Press conference.
“I was speechless. Brunelli urged me not to spread the news until Fiorentina had been able to contact his family. It was only right that the first announcement come from the club.
“Meanwhile, Genoa and Cagliari were about to step on to the field for the early kick-off, and Astori had played for the Sardinians. Everyone immediately expressed the desire to call off the game. I spoke to (Cagliari President Tommaso) Giulini, then with (Genoa President Enrico) Preziosi, who gave the go-ahead to cancel the match."
News filtered through to the teams during their warm-up at Marassi and some, including his Italy teammate Mattia Perin, ran off the field in tears.
“Meanwhile, other clubs sent messages that they did not want to play and I realised the other matches would have to be called off, including tonight's Milan-Inter. The Lega Serie B also communicated they were ready to postpone their games.
“There can be no words right now, I think the decision was right to call off the fixtures, because now more than ever the football I want and imagine is one of values, ideals and shared emotions.
“Out of respect not just for the athlete, but the man, I maintain it was the right and only decision we could make."