Posted on May 29
A friendly football match between Italy and Luxembourg scheduled to take place in Parma on Tuesday was called off after a strong earthquake hit the Emilia Romagna region, killing at least 15 people.
The match was part of preparations for next month's European Football Championships in Poland and Ukraine and was called off by the Italian Football Federation and local authorities.
Italy coach Cesare Prandelli said there were more important things in life than a football match.
"There are situations that make you think and make you realise there are worse things in life (than cancelling a game)," he told RaiSport.
Federation vice-president Demetrio Albertini said it would have been wrong to play the match under such circumstances.
"We couldn't play this match out of respect for the bereavement that has struck Emilia Romagna and the whole of Italy," he said.
"Our first thoughts were for the victims of the earthquake."
The region was struck by an earthquake measuring a 5.8 magnitude just after 0700 GMT when people were heading into work.
Authorities said three more quakes measuring between 5.1 and over 5.3 magnitude followed between 1056 GMT and 1101 GMT.
This came just days after a 6.0 magnitude quake in the industrial northeast that killed six people and left thousands in makeshift tent dwellings, with many homes and historic buildings reduced to rubble.
Tuesday's first quake struck about 60 kilometres (40 miles) east of Parma, wreaking mass destruction.
A federation spokesman told AFP that the match would not be moved elsewhere or postponed to a later date.
Italy still have another friendly to come on Friday against Russia in Zurich before opening their Euro 2012 campaign against Spain on June 10.