Violence by football fans in Italy: madness in Badia al Pino

Now everyone is outraged again, especially the politicians, of course, who are always the first. Italy realizes once again, for the thousandth time, that it has a problem with its ultras, those tough and organised, often neo-fascist and criminal football fans. But will he do anything this time after the madness on the Autostrada del Sole?

At 1, Sunday early afternoon. Many southern fans are on their way north. The Neapolitans left early. Your Napoli, leaders of Serie A, play against Sampdoria in Genoa at 6 p.m., it’s a long time, seven hours. A little later, the Romanisti leave. Your Roma will only play against Milan at 8:45 p.m. in Milan, it has less distance, 570 kilometers. You can also take the train, Italy has good fast and punctual trains. But Ultras prefer to ride cars and small vans. It’s less expensive in the end, and above all: the controls are more difficult.

At 1 p.m., suddenly and as if at the right time, many cars and buses with Neapolitan license plates leave the Badia al Pino service area in the Tuscan Val di Chiana. A whole cohort, 350 Ultras. The police are aware of the dangers this Sunday. Because rival Roma and Napoli hooligans are traveling almost simultaneously on this match day, they have increased their presence at all motorway service stations, just in case. Badia al Pino’s Autogrill is a special place, it’s where Lazio Rome fan Gabriele “Gabbo” Sandri died in 2007. He had a fight with Juventini. A policeman shot and killed Sandri. Since then, his name has been inscribed on the walls of Rome, as if he were a martyr. Ultras call the service area “Stazione Sandri”.

So 350 ultras from Naples come out of their vans and cars: dressed in black, hooded, with sticks and firecrackers. The police block access to the service area, everything seems planned. Shortly after, the first Roma supporters pass in front of the spot, and the access road being closed, they park their car on the breakdown lane, parallel to the service area. Stones and explosive devices are thrown at them, because the A1 near Arezzo is still open. Objects fly on the road. There are a lot of people on the streets, the Christmas holidays are ending, many families with children are on their way home. There are moments of panic. “The Wild West of Ultras”, will be La Stampa write. Madness with ad.

Police block highway because fans attack each other

The police decide to block the highway. Traffic is soon blocked to the north for 13 kilometers, Italy is blocked. Now the Ultras are fighting on the freeway, hitting each other with sticks, pushing against the guardrail, and firecracker smoke hanging over everything. You can watch the videos online, anyone with a cell phone participated. It’s a miracle that only one person was slightly injured.

Did the Ultras meet in Badia al Pino? Or were the Romans ambushed by the Neapolitans? The prosecutor is investigating. Most of the participants were identified, but were later allowed to travel to Genoa and Milan.

There was a time when the fans of Napoli and Roma were brothers, until the mid-1980s it was like this: the hatred of the powerful clubs of Milan and Turin was shared – from the south against the north. But when Napoli then brought Diego Armando Maradona to them and won the title as well, the rivalry in that ‘sun derby’ turned into a tragically murky ongoing conflict. In the choirs, for example, the Romans wanted the Neapolitans to bathe in the fire of Vesuvius. Sports justice has invented a new fact for such songs: “territorial discrimination”, racism among Italians.

Then, in 2014, something irreparable happened: Roman Ultra Daniele De Santis killed Napoli fan Ciro Esposito, 31, with five shots. He had traveled to Rome for the cup final against Fiorentina and got into a street fight, by accident. Since then, there has always been an alarm. Esposito’s mother is interviewed again by the media after the Badia al Pino incident and says: “I’m tired of making appeals, I’ve been doing it for nine years and it’s useless, the institutions s don’t care.”

Only indignation is always great. The Minister of Sports claims that these ultras are “criminals”. Right-wing politician and Transport Minister Matteo Salvini thinks the ultras should be held accountable. Salvini doesn’t seem very believable, he also enjoyed being in the company of a doomed boss of the curve of his favorite club Milan. There are now calls for tough new action, lifetime stadium bans, some penalties. The Republic writes that it’s “hypocrisy”https://news.google.com/__i/rss/rd/articles/.”You know the names, surnames and addresses of the worst Ultras.” But the state has looked the other way, for far too long. “For ultras, calcio is an outlet for their brutality and far too often they get away with it.”

#Violence #football #fans #Italy #madness #Badia #Pino

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