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Stadium ban reprieve for AC Milan

Federal Court of Justice suspends sanctions against AC Milan following chant allegations during Juventus match.

Last Modified: 11 Oct 2013 19:25
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The apparent 'territorially discriminating chants' occurred during Milan's match with Juve on Sunday [AFP]

AC Milan will host Udinese on October 19 with the San Siro stadium open to fans after the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) suspended the ruling that the club must play one match behind closed doors.

A fine of $67,800, imposed for "territorially discriminating" chants, has also been suspended pending further investigations. 

"The Federal Court of Justice has suspended the sanctions on an appeal filed by Milan against the closure of the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza (San Siro) for one match and a fine of 50,000 euros," the FIGC said in a statement on Friday.

"The Federal Court of Justice asks the Federal Prosecutors Office to (now) gather every possible piece of evidence."

The club were punished after FIGC representatives reported hearing offensive chants directed at fans of southern club Napoli during Milan's 3-2 defeat at Juventus on Sunday.

In the fiercely territorial world of Italian football, abusive rivalry between supporters of clubs in the rich north and those in the poorer south is not uncommon.

The initial punishment infuriated Milan, who said no such chants had been sung, and supporters of other Serie A clubs who feel the closure of areas of grounds and whole stadiums is excessive for what they see as harmless sporting rivalry.

Napoli fans in the Curva B section of the San Paolo for Sunday's 4-0 home victory over Livorno brought out a banner that read 'Naples cholera-sufferers. Now close our Curva!', referring to previous chants by rivals.

They then began singing the offending songs which follow them up and down the country.

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Source:
Reuters
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