Friday, 7 May 2010

Roma 0 -1 Inter

I really, really, really wanted this. Partly because I fucking hate Inter, partly because of the debacle of Sunday's nights Lazio game, partly because it would be kinda cool to wrap up Coppa Italia no. 10 and be the first team to get the little silver star on our shirts, partly because I have the rather English notion that cups matter. (Oh yeah, and to make sure that unutterably bloody Mourinho doesn't win the treble, something no Italian team has ever done as the media never ceases to breathlessly inform us). But mostly because since we're no longer realistically likely to win the league I was hoping that we would at least win some kind of trophy in recognition of a really phenomenal season.

When we came out of the ground it had started to rain and we walked through the lines of riot police in damp silence. I felt angry, fed up and faintly nauseated. And you know what? not about what happened on the pitch - though that was infuriating, frustrating, and ultimately unsurprising.

No, what ruined my night on Wednesday was something which I haven't seen mentioned anywhere in the press coverage: it was the racist chanting in the Curva Sud. From a few isolated monkey chants here and there, it grew steadily as Balotelli became more and more provoking, right in front of the Sud. I think I won't repeat the comments /chanting from the people directly around me, they made me feel sick enough at the time. The stuff directed at Chivu wasn't much better.

Now I know that Balotelli is a nasty little wanker, and Chivu was out of line and annoying, and I am has happy as the next irate fan to insult them, I just wish that Italian fans weren't stuck in the 19fucking80s where angry people search for the most inflammatory thing they can think of to shout and let rip with no thought for the consequences. It was noticeable that from 'inoffensive' insults, people descended into racism as tempers frayed - as though it was this latent force ready to burst out under sufficient provocation. I hate it, it makes me feel sick & dirty and in the end I stopped caring about losing the cup. I don't have any answers to offer right now, just a kind of nausea & despair.

sorry, btw, if you were hoping for a cheery welcome back post.


Martha said...

And yet Chivu will presumably get a three match ban in Serie A for (idiotically) responding, and there will be little or no punishment for the chants, as per usual (no matter whose fans are doing the chanting).

To me, as an outsider, it continues to look like the FIGC would much rather continue with the token fines and tick the "punished racist chants this week, hurrah" box than actually tackle the issue. Is that unfair? And, if it's not, what do you think has to happen to increase their interest in ridding their sport of something so spectacularly offensive and damning?

Matt Dalton said...

It is such a shame that this kind of thing still happens at football matches. I went to watch an Internazionale match back in 2008 a few days after my Liverpool side had knocked them out the Champions League. It wasn't exactly the most friendly of places!

roswitha said...

That's no longer surprising, but it is still shocking and disgusting.

Spangly Princess said...

FIGC don't care a great deal about this, and how can they, when the government itself is stocked with members of an explicitly racist party like the Lega Nord?

racism is not an Italian football problem, it is an Italian problem full stop. It will never be stamped out in football unless it is stamped out in Italian society - and with a racist government in power and no sign of change on the horizon, don't hold your breath.

David said...

Come on, let's face it... Racism is a worldwide problem. Speaking just from what I know, Italian emigrants couldn't get jobs here in Toronto in the 1950s, and were widely marginalized and discriminated against. Now the shoe's on the other foot, and the Italians are all moving to their little enclave in Woodbridge to get away from the next wave of discriminated-against immigrants. It was the same with Irish immigrants in the early 20th century.

In all insular societies, like Italy's, people are going to be racist towards outsiders. It's only in countries that have seen widespread global immigration, like the UK, that racism is less of a problem, but it still exists; see the BNP, who are more explicitly racist than the Lega Merda. Spain's Primera Liga has widespread racism problems that rival or exceed Serie A's, they just don't get reported on because the football media is in love with Spain. By the nineties the UK seemed to have come to grips with immigration and accepted non-whites living in their country, hopefully soon Italy and the rest of Europe similarly 'grow up.'

Spangly Princess said...

a lot of what you say is true, David. The problem is that the Lega Nord, unlike the BNP, are part of the government, and have a huge share of the vote. (and to the best of my knowledge the BNP has never gone round on public transport distributing special disinfectant so that people who had touched an immigrant could clean their hands afterwards...)

and racism in Serie A is actually grossly under-reported at least in Italy - unless it can be blamed on the ultras, who along with immigrants are presented as the root of all evil in Italian society.