First of all, thank you all for your kind comments on the previous post. Things are a bit... tricky right now. Anyway. Coupla pics for you:
Sporting brought a decent number of fans and put on a good display, lots of flags, scarves, banners etc., lots of jumping up and down, plenty of singing. They spread their colours out well and produced 'un tifo ben colorato' which is of course very important.
Meanwhile in the Sud there has been a bit of a strike going on. Remember that all banners or flags with any kind of written message must be approved by both the Club itself & by the police, with a fax seekign permission sent at least 7 days before the game. At the Napoli game nearly all the groups from the lower part of the Curva chose not to display their banners, or take in their flags, though all sang as usual. At the Sporting game, the Boys also joined in. Here you can see that rather than their venerable banner they have a number of tricolors, the message 'Paolo Vive' which they have displayed ever game since the untimely death of their erstwhile leader Paolo Zappavigna in a motorbike crash a few years ago, and the legend 'Assenti Presenti'. This is a reference to banned members, who are 'present in spirit' if not in fact. The Gothic script is ubiquitous among right-wing groups for the less than delightful reasons which I'm sure you can imagine. [if you click on the pic you can see it larger]
These protests are basically about the new laws (not that they're all that new any more, it has to be said) on banners, striscioni, ticketing etc etc. Rather than sending the necessary fax, these groups have left their banners at home in protest. Incidentally, the 4 main 'historic' groups in the upper part of the curva have far fewer problems with these rules than the smaller disparate groups in the lower part of the stand: the 4 large groups have some kind of on-going accord with the club, from what I can gather.
So here's the thing: how many faxes do you suppose the Lisbon ultras sent the week before the game? Hmm?
Could it be that they were allowed to enter the stadium without pre-authorisation, perhaps merely with a check on the gates to ensure there was no racist or otherwise offensive material? If so, the world doesn't seem to have ended just yet.