This morning an extraordinary meeting of the Osservatorio Nazionale sulle Manifestazioni Sportive was held, in order to analyse the serious events which took place yesterday following the tragic death of the Lazio fan Gabriele Sandri, for which the group expressed their condolences and solidarity with the family.Violent tifoserie? That means Roma, Lazio, Napoli, Juve, Palermo, Catania, Inter, Atalanta, Milan, Torino, Livorno, possibly Genoa & Samp. Also Brescia, Verona, Cavese, Taranto, Juve Stabia, Salernitana, Sambenedettese, Ascoli... need I go on?
On this theme the Osservatorio made in-depth considerations of the dynamics of the incidents which took place both within and outside the stadia of over 10 Italian cities, and in particular Rome, Bergamo, Taranto, Milan and Parma, expressions of a violence which cannot be in any way justified or accepted.
In this respect, in the light of the particular threat posed to public safety by certain fan bases, as also affirmed by representatives of the transport network present at the meeting, who testified to their fears for the safety of their employees, emphasis was placed on the need to proceed in an ever more rigorous fashion with the strategies previously adopted, both preventive and repressive.
The Osservatorio has therefore determined that:
• From 1st March all stadia with a capacity of over 7,500 must have suitably selected and trained stewards in place, failing which the relevant Prefect may order games to be played behind closed doors.
• Public safety must prevail "in absolute" over all other legitimate interests, and so Questori [police chiefs] are to be made encouraged to cancel or suspend matches, every single time that incidents take place, even if outside the stadium or on the transport network.
In addition, in order to adopt measures which further weaken the strength of groups, which is manifest above all during "away trips", it has been decided that, until some adequate "guarantee" such as fans' ID cards has been introduced, and in perfect agreement with the regulations introduced in February by the Government, mass away travel of violent fan groups will no longer be permitted. Specific restrictions will be issued on a case by case basis by the Osservatorio, reguarding both the "away section" and the sale of match tickets, in order to reinforce the spirit of the law which is increasingly being circumnavigated by the purchase of tickets "on line" by groups.
This means that:
• The Osservatorio will analyse each match in the light of these dispositions, analysing, on the basis of these presumptions, the possibility of authorising away games for those fans who have given evidence of sporting conduct and good behaviour.
• The procedures for creating "fans' ID cards" should be simplified as much as possible in order to create a new configuration of supporters "as soon as possible", as official representatives of their respective teams.
The meeting has been adjourned, as usual, til next Thursday in order to analyse affairs in the light of the decisions taken by the Minister [for Sport] Melandri with the sporting authorities with regard to the fixture calendar.
12 November 2007
In other news, Serie B & C have been suspended for next weekend (Serie A was halted anyway for the international break. It seems however eminently likely that Serie A will also be suspended at some stage, though for how long it is impossible to know. The main curve of Taranto and Atalanta will be closed as a punishment for their violence, possibly for the whole of the rest of the season. Arrests are continuing, with at least 8 Atalantini arrested today. The charge of terrorism against those arrested here in Rome is a way of establishing whether the violence was in fact deliberately arranged or manipulated, possibly for political ends. I'd not be too surprised (scratch the surface of hooliganism in this city and neofascism is never far away). As ever, more as it comes.