Italy matches hit by new rules

Eleven games in top two divisions off-limits to fans after new anti-hooligan measures.

    Many have criticised move to ban supporters [AFP]

    Many have criticised the decision to ban supporters, saying there will be no advantage to playing at home for those clubs whose security arrangements are not in line with the law.
     
    'Unfair'

      

    But Luciano Spalletti, Roma coach, whose club's Olympic stadium is open to the public at present, dismissed suggestions that the championship is now unfair.

      

    "I don't think it's correct to say that the championship is irregular," he said ahead of Sunday's match against Parma.

      

    "It was inevitable the government's decision was not going to prove popular with all the clubs, but they had to do something.

      

    "It doesn't mean to say that everything is fine, and there is still a lot that needs to be done, but it's a positive step."

      

    Mark Bresciano, Palermo's Australian midfielder, applauded the Italian government for taking swift action.

      

    "Security has to be the priority in our sport," he said.

      

    "Sure, it's not nice to play matches without fans, but I don't think it gives an advantage to those clubs exempt from the ban on fans.

      

    "Last week's events left us in shock, it was a tragic night for everybody connected with the sport."

      

    'Nerazzurri'

     

    Inter are 11 points clear of second-place Roma after a record sequence of 14 consecutive Serie A wins, a run that has prompted Italy's largest bookmaker to pay out on the 'Nerazzurri' retaining the championship.

      

    Roberto Mancini's side have not lost for 27 matches in all competitions with their last defeat coming back on September 27 when they lost 2-0 at home to Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

      

    AC Milan's new signing Ronaldo could make his debut in front of empty seats with their home tie against Livorno also being played behind closed doors.  

    SOURCE: Agencies


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