February 02, 2007

A Sad Day in Italy: The most popular sport on earth has another horrible day.

posted by sauceysays to soccer at 06:37 PM - 10 comments

Good lord. .

posted by Ufez Jones at 07:07 PM on February 02, 2007

The beautiful game, right?

posted by tommybiden at 09:59 PM on February 02, 2007

I am a sports fan but what is going on?

posted by luther70 at 11:47 PM on February 02, 2007

Wow... Just... Wow...

posted by Drood at 01:08 AM on February 03, 2007

I like the idea of just suspending the games until something concrete is done. Why has it not been done here in the good, old US of A when incidents like this happen? Usually they are distant from the game itself, but occur during celebrations fueled by alcohol, etc. In Boston alone there have been 2 recent fatalities connected to sports crowds. After a Patriots' Super Bowl win, a college student was struck and killed by a car driven by a man who said he was frightened when the mob surrounded his car. After the World Series win in '04, a young woman was fatally struck in the head by a police "beanbag" projectile. In neither case was there anything of substance said by officials of either league. I see no difference between these and the incident in Italy, and I have to applaud the Italians for their actions.

posted by Howard_T at 05:46 AM on February 03, 2007

It is a sad day for Italian sport, but, horrible as this is to say, it can't come as a huge shock to many fans of Italian football. Increasingly the atmosphere in the stands has been hostile and many fans of the game aren't going because of the numbers of these hooligans, who aren't fans of any team, no matter what they say.

posted by Fence at 06:19 AM on February 03, 2007

I can't say that I've personally seen an increase in hostile atmosphere as Fence says, but I haven't been going to the stadium as often as I used to, mainly due to increased ticket prices, the fact that I couldn't drag my Romanista S.O. to a non-derby Lazio game even under penalty of death, and my beloved Juve currently residing in B. However, I have to wonder just how stupid whoever drew up the year's schedule really is. Apparently, they realised at the last minute that they had scheduled the Catania-Palermo derby (always a hotly contested game) on a Saturday night of a major Sicilian holiday weekend. Fucking brilliant, boys. And thus the game was moved to Friday night for 'security reasons', which in my opinion was a pretty useless move. It's a Friday night, eve of a major regional holiday. A large majority probably probably did the whole fare il ponte, meaning they took off Friday to extend their holiday weekend to four days instead of three. Yeah, moving it to Friday did a whole lotta good fellas. On top of this, your police escorted bus of Palermo fans (away team) arrives to the game late because the driver got lost. This means they and their police escort are sitting ducks for the idiot 'Ultras' who hang out around the outside of the stadium and whose main interest is looking to start a fight. Hopefully, when deciding on new measures they'll include a pinch more common sense to avoid giving these types of idiots another excuse to go hog wild.

posted by romakimmy at 07:34 AM on February 03, 2007

I, uh, wha? You can't see the difference between a car accident and someone throwing an explosive in a cop's face? Am I the only one who thinks that is broken?

posted by tieguy at 09:05 AM on February 03, 2007

Addendum: If they were really serious about taking extra security measures, they should have moved the game to a neutral (read: outside Sicily) stadium. Usually they do this as a penalty for prior incidents, but with all the hype I saw on the news about moving the game to Friday in the interests of public order, I have to conclude that they didn't do this because both sets of fans would have thrown a hissy fit. And maybe due to tickets having been sold already; right now I can't find a good article on exactly when they decided to move the game.

posted by romakimmy at 09:28 AM on February 03, 2007

One of the sad things about this is that once(or IF)competition continues, the violence will also return. These are not fans, but people, and I use the term loosely, bent on violence and destruction. Funny, we view this as tragic, but turn away when there is looting, arson and shooting over the victory/loss of "the big game", in our own back yard. You watch these kids, as they look around, throw the rock or bottle, then look again, in preparation for whatever comes their way. Tragic, sick, disgusting...any and all of these fit. I'd say unacceptable...

posted by wolfdad at 09:56 AM on February 03, 2007

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