Home > Italy, Serie A > Italian football sinks to a new low

Italian football sinks to a new low

The violence that threatens the very future of the Italian game, following last weekends fixtures being cancelled or abandoned, is indicative of a culture in Italy that is all too lenient towards the ‘hooligan element’ of supporters.
The word ‘hooligan’ has long been a term associated with English fans, and like Spain, Italy, Holland, anywhere, there is certainly still an element of that in the English game. The fact that a lot of it tends to get ignored or fails to find the media’s attention doesn’t mean it isn’t going on.
Italy is remarkable though in that the chanting and flags and sickening behaviour of idiots at grounds, doesn’t seem to be a going away. At all. And the recent incidents in Rome where Manchester United fans were atacked, the regular rioting that accompanies the high-profile games, none of it is being dealt with in a zero-tolerance manner and that is surely the only way to deal with it.
Italy boast the European Champions in AC Milan. They are the World Cup holders following their win over France in 2006. In Pirlo, Buffon, Zambrotta and dozens of others they have a selction of the finest players in the world playing in Serie A, which even now still records higher tv ratings than the Premiership.
Yet, they have a murky side. The corruption that saw Juventus demoted to Serie B was a farce. Milan and Juventus, two of Europe’s best and biggest teams are back chasing major honours barely a year after the scandal. Milan won the Champions League on the back of it. Appeals and appeals and appeals saw the ‘shocking’ punishment reduced significantly and now all the clubs concerned can look back and breathe a huge sigh of relief.
The death of a policeman outside Catania’s stadium has now been replicated with the death of a young Lazio fan, shot accidentally it appears by Police attempting to stem a violent gathering of two sets of fans.
Until Italian football bans ‘fans’ who are racist, who make Nazi salutes, who sing homophobic songs, who throw flares on pitches, who hoist offensive banners, who attempt to bribe officials, who gather for organised fights between supporters, who set the worst possible example to those going to games for the first time…..then this will keep happening. And Italian football will never be able to re-take its position at the mantle of European football.
Only a matter of time too, before the likes of Kaka, Pirlo, Nesta and others decide enough is enough and try their luck elsewhere, where football is cherished, not shot at….

Categories: Italy, Serie A
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