Friday, 9 February 2007

I had to look the Italian word for knuckleduster up in a dictionary

The boy charged with murder, whilst denying being involved in the encounter with Raciti, has apparently admitted throwing metal objects at the police and using an iron bar to attack a policeman with. Some sources have suggested that he has made a full confession but his lawyer has denied these reports. The police, meanwhile, are very certain it's him, though the actual moment in which Inspector Raciti was hit was not filmed on any of the various cameras in the area.

His father has made a statement denying his son's involvement with the far right and claiming he's being used as a scapegoat; he has also attacked the police for their use of teargas and the attacks they launched. The police are still working to identify other individiuals involved in the attack.

It has emerged that there was - as widely suspected - a definite plan to attack the police, which included both the making of home-made explosives prior to the match and mobile communication between ultras inside and outside the stadium whilst the general disorder was in progress. That is to say, from what I understand, that the encirclement caused by Catanesi breaking out of the stadium at the same time as others attacked from the other side, was a deliberate manouvre. This, if true, suggests a frightening degree of organisation and planning.

Meanwhile other police operations are going ahead. In Napoli, 13 ultras known to be amongst the violent hardcore have been subjected to house searches. Police have found and confiscated numerous knives, explosive materials and knuckledusters .In Vicenza, Verona, Padova and Mantova, 22 search warrants have been issued in relation to violent incidents relating to Hellas Verona & Vicenza matches from 30 October and 4 November 2006. Banning orders for the 22 ultras in question are likely. BUT this is mindboggling. The events were over 3 months ago, they knew exaclty who they suspected of violent crime and they only get around to it now when the national spotlight is upon them. Why? Could it possibly be that tackling football violence has just been nobody's priority up til now? Surely not....

AC Milan is desperately trying to get permission for at least its season ticket holders to watch Sunday's game, with various works under way even as I type and a final visit from the relevant police department due tomorrow morning. The clubs, despite much grumbling from players and directors alike, seem to have abandoned thoughts of a 'strike' and agreed to play on Sunday even behind closed doors. But, helpfully, new UEFA boss Michel Platini has just popped up to say that 'it's a great shame to penalise the clubs in this way when the problems aren't their fault' Er, what exactly are you saying, Michel?? That they have no culpability here? cos there I really can't agree. Clubs have been at best unconcerned and at worst complicit in this stuf for years. Now, Michel, if you're saying that playing behind closed doors isn't going to tackle violence outside the stadia, then sure, count me in. But it sounds suspiciously like you're worried about institutions' income over individuals' lives. Could just be me.


TrentToffee said...

So how do you say Knuckleduster ?

Not the easiest start for Platini but we're already seeing some woolly French political thinking at work. Having played there I'm sure he has a fondness of, and feels a loyalty towards, Serie 'A'. I wonder what his thinking might be if this had happened elsewhere.

martinobhoy said...

I am hoping that the situation at the San Siro can be sorted. Personally I'd be gutted if trouble at a Falkirk v Motherwell game resulted in the first leg of Celtic v Milan being behind closed doors rather than at Celtic Park.

I want to play the second leg in a sold out San Siro.

Spangly Princess said...

noccoliere, TT. this was the word which bemused me utterly in this morning's paper.

And Platini can have all the fondness and loyalty he likes, I do, doesn't mean we have to sacrifice clarity of thought or judgement.

patrick said...

I'm tempted to say just cancel the whole bloody thing for the next year. too much violence, corruption, civil disturbance for everybody else.

just so people can indulge medieval city-state grudges and bizarre fascistic cults.

probably a silly idea, but then at least Spangly might get some bloody academic work done :)


de vertalerin said...

Platini did not behave particularly well at Heysel, where his victory celebrations were crass beyond belief, so I don't have any confidence whatsoever in his having any kind of feeling for decency.

Anonymous said...

Platini cannot be blamed for acting like a footballer during a football match. Most of what happened at Heysel was hidden from the players who were in the dressing room, so they didn't know the full extent, only rumours and whispers because Juve officials were trying to hide news from the players. And what the players did know made them want to win it for their fans when the game started. Anyway the game should have been postponed, but at least the Italians beat the poms.

- Romanista, Oz.