Monday, 12 October 2009

tessera del tifoso

on 20 September coordinated national protests were organised (supposedly) by Italian ultras against the Tessera del Tifoso (though why I dignify it with capitals I'm not sure). If you haven't been paying attention at the back, you can make up missed lessons here.

It is unlikely of course that these would in any case have achieved anything (popular protest changing government policy? when Vesuvius freezes over...) but they would be more like to do so if people could actually stick to their guns for as long as 45 minutes at a time. Roma ultras had announced a 45 minute strike, which was rigorously enforced with a type of picket line which one was seriously discouraged from crossing, though in any case I would not have. This was initially very successful:

(Photo from

But when after about 30 minutes of standing outside the curva singing and playing tug of war - no really - Totti scored his second goal, people altogether lost their self-control and after chucking a bunch of bangers into the empty sector then flooded in to fill the end as normal. It's hard to argue that you care desperately about a gross abuse of civil liberties when your attention span lasts less than 45 minutes. Where, you might ask yourself, is the mentalità?

Anyway I much preferred the response at Bari. Puglia, as you may or may not know, is at the heart of the corruption investigations which began with the regional health service and which have uncovered the escorts, the parties, the champagne etc and which first brought Ms Patrizia D'Addario to public attention. In others words, the summer-long scandalous revelations about Berlusconi's sex life all begin back in Bari. The Curva Nord there had its own take, consequently, on the idea of trying to control bad behaviour through the issue of ID cards:

[Fighting, banners, escorts and coke: we want MP ID cards now!]

I put this here because it is possibly the only thing about this story which can make me smile... our so delightful minister for the interior Roberto Maroni has insisted that it will be mandatory for all clubs to introduce the tessera from 1 January 2009 and henceforth it will be impossible to buy tickets for away sectors of any ground from the old C2 upwards. They have slightly tweaked it in response to public criticism but fundametally it seems sure to go ahead.


ginkers said...

It looks like a backward step for civil liberties AND Italian football.

However, I have rarely known an Italian protest which did not descend into chaos so events at the Olimpico were hardly surprising.

Anonymous said...

Does this mean that my plans to one day come to Roma and go see a match are impossible now?!