ah, back to the grindstone. The sporting authorities have decided to close the Atalanta Curva Nord down, until 31 March 2008. You may remember that this new power, to close a specific sector of the ground, was first employed against Inter earlier this season. Here the judge appears to have essentially followed Club President Ruggeri's line, since he had already announced his intention of closing the curva. Where this leaves the legal and financial rights of season-ticket holders in the Nord who knows. But it's not exactly a surprise one way or the other.
The home game against Milan will be replayed behind closed doors. I confess I don't understand the logic here - it ought to be given as a 0-3 result to the rossoneri. This, after all, was the penalty applied to the Taranto game. But apparently they have decided that since the game was officially called off after just 7 minutes, of which there was almost no play whatsoever, it counts as 'unplayed' rather than 'suspended' and so it can be replayed. In essence, the game was halted by the police not the ref and so the normal 'sporting' sanction does not apply. I wonder whether this decision is also the result of a) the financial clout of serie A vs serie C; b) the less than praiseworthy comportment of the travelling Milan fans before the game; c) a desire to recognise Ruggeri's initiative and not scapegoat Atalanta excessively.
In other news, Juve have been fined €20,000 for their fans' racist banner against Ibrahimovic (calling him a "foul Gypsy"). Apparently this is a token sum 'in view of the cooperation of the club with the police' over the matter. Business as usual, then.
Meanwhile an interesting piece in La Repubblica, from a journalist who went to meet the notorious Claudio "Bocia" Galimberti, capo of the Atalanta curva nord. Those of you who have ever seen Danny Dyer's hilariously bad wannabe hoolie show will have seen him interviewed on that, possibly over subtitles proclaiming him to be well nawtee. He also appears on Italian TV, and seems in general to have quite a taste for the limelight. But Galimberti, despite over a decade of banning orders and a burgeoning media career, is still famed for his love of violence, and here propounds his philosophy - it's all about respect, apparently. And, er, punching people. Great.