Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Come si dice "hooligan" in Italiano?

After a policeman was killed during a riot last week after a football match in Catania, the Italian government stepped in and ordered that several games had to be played behind closed doors over the weekend, and that all stadiums had to implement certain safety features. After putting in place such safety measures, most stadiums are open again to fans, but at least one (Catania) will be closed for the remainder of the season.

I have been to rowdy college (American) football games, but I don't think anything can compare with the pure animosity that can exist between clubs or national sides. It's not just Italy. Paris accused Marseille of poisoning their locker room, not too long ago, and Britain is notorious. What is it about the beautiful game that brings out such violence at football matches? Granted, Raiders fans are nuts, but it seems when a national sport is involved, there seems to be a role reversal; Europeans seem to be the more violent ones (although the fans don't usually have guns, thank god). At least they limit it to sports. Two people were shot and killed near my neighborhood over the weekend. Here's a fun quote. Notice what the fans throw at him. That takes planning.

Ascoli keeper Gianluca Pagliuca said he would have preferred it if his team's match at Sampdoria had been played behind closed doors.

The former Italy international, who spent eight seasons at Sampdoria before spells at Bologna and Inter, was continually abused by the home fans.

"A Sunday of silence? Not for me. I was insulted for 45 minutes from the Sampdoria fans behind the goal," he complained.

"Whenever I come back here, they have it in for me. Right now, when everybody is talking about violence, I feel even more depressed after being abused for 45 minutes.

"I don't know why they do it. In 1999, in an Italian Cup match, they even threw bathroom taps at me, just because I was playing for Bologna, a team they hate."

Whole article found at

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