«He died because he was a footballer»- Corriere.it

«He died because he was a footballer»- Corriere.it

Of Salvatore Riggio

Chantal, the widow of Borgonovo who died of ALS in 2013: «I am convinced that without calcium he would not have fallen ill. The deaths of Vialli and Mihajlovic have reopened old wounds but nobody is interested in investigating"

Stefano Borgonovo would have turned 59 yesterday, Friday 17 March. He died in June 2013 of ALS. Since that day, other former football players have lost their lives to this disease, such as Pietro Anastasi in 2020. According to an epidemiological study, presented in August last year at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology in Philadelphia, the risk of a to get sick with ALS is 6 times higher than the average. «I'm convinced that if Stefano hadn't been a footballer he wouldn't have gotten sick or he would have gotten it but at an advanced age. Instead he died young because he played football », the words of Chantal, widow of Borgonovo in an interview given to The day.

The recent deaths of Sinisa Mihajlovic (leukemia, December 16, 2022) and Gianluca Vialli (pancreatic cancer, January 6, 2023) come to mind. They have nothing to do with ALS, but Chantal was struck by it. «Tragedies that reopened old wounds, led me to further reflections, reminded me of dramatic moments. ALS in particular has affected too many footballers over the years, both younger and older. The most recent statistics and research say so. If Stefano had led a different kind of life, he wouldn't have gotten sick. Unfortunately nobody knows why and how. I have been waiting for answers for years. When Stefano played everything related to health management was entrusted to the team doctor, whom my husband trusted. He has never voluntarily taken strange drugs, he only took something under the supervision of the health staff if prescribed », added Chantal.

After the deaths of Mihajlovic and Vialli, many athletes have broken the wall of silence by recounting their fears, the widow Borgonovo presses: «One thing is certain, they were of the same generation as Stefano or of the following one, so they knew each other having done the same Work. Football is a very narrow environment. They have certainly reopened an issue which, however, I see closed just as quickly. It certainly bothers to talk about it, I don't know if it depends on economic interests or something else. But it's fair to remember that all the investigations into these diseases have been done by researchers who don't belong to the world of football. It should be a social duty to understand and reassure, but it doesn't matter".

March 18, 2023 (change March 18, 2023 | 3:38 pm)

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