Violence hits Italian football again

by admin

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

Where next for Italian football? The reason for the question is because last night Liverpool supporters, in Naples for the Europa League match, were targeted by supporters of Napoli. Italian police confirmed reports of Napoli Ultra’s roaming the city in gangs hunting for Liverpool, four Liverpool fans required hospital treatment, two for stab wounds.

In the last two weeks Italian football and more specifically hooliganism has been under the microscope along with the apparent failure of the authorities to combat football-related violence in the country.

The Italy v Serbia European qualifier was abandoned after six minutes because Serb fans were throwing flares on to the pitch, this is after Serb hooligans attacked their own team bus – subjecting goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic to death threats and violence. Now what has this to do with Italy, you may ask? Well, simply put the Italian authorities once again failed to deal with the hooligans and they clearly did not have a contingency plan in place to keep the peace and allow a game of football to happen.

The Italian authorities have vowed before to crackdown on the Ultra’s – when Sicilian policeman, Filippo Raciti, following clashes between fans of Catania and Palermo in the Sicilian Derby.

The aftermath of the Sicilian Derby saw ministers’ crackdown, enforcing stadium closures amongst the restrictions which also included a ban on rockets, smoke-producers and firecrackers at sports events – which we all know is routinely ignored.

These incidents not only damage Italy’s reputation as a footballing nation but also their hopes of hosting another international tournament, the last time they did so was the 1990 World Cup – other failed bids include Euro 2012 and Euro 2016. Until the authorities can guarantee safety of both players and fans they will not host another tournament for a long time according Patrick Nally, co-founder of sports marketing firm West Nally and a key advisor to FIFA, who told Reuters: “Offering a risk-free environment is extraordinarily important. They {Italy} won’t host anything for a long time.”

What do you think? Join the debate below – should UEFA take action action Napoli?

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