Italian football to resume

But matches may be played in empty stadia as tough anti-hooligan laws are approved.

    The government says security
    comes before anything else [AFP]

    "Today we have decided that security comes before anything else," Giovanna Melandri, the sports minister, said.

    These include a ban on the block sale of tickets to away fans, stricter stadium bans for those involved in violence, including under 18s, and tougher prison sentences for hooliganism.

    'Firm implementation'

    A ban on financial relationships between clubs and fan associations is to also be imposed.

    The government said there would be a firm implementation of the 'Decreto Pisanu' - laws introduced in 2005 under the previous centre-right government to curb football violence.

    "They can't impose these regulations on us. We must go on strike"

    Aurelio De Laurentiis, Napoli

    These include adequate CCTV cameras, named tickets, automatic turnstiles, stewarding, and crowd filtering areas outside the stadiums.

    Senior figures in the sport have opposed the new laws and described the government's reaction as knee-jerk one.

    The presidents of the clubs in Serie A and Serie B, Italy's top two divisions, will meet on Thursday to discuss the government's plan, while the national watchdog for security at sporting venues will decide which grounds they believe to be unsafe and play behind closed doors.

    About half of the stadiums in Serie A and B are believed to fall short of the safety standards laid down by the 'Decreto Pisanu', including the San Siro, home to giants Milan and Internazionale.

    Unhappy clubs

    Giuliano Amato, the interior minister ignored pleas by clubs whose stadiums are at risk of closure to allow only season-ticket holders into their grounds.

    Hooliganism is common at Italian stadia [AFP]

    The president of twice Italian champions Napoli, Aurelio De Laurentiis, said a "fascist climate" had descended on the country since Raciti’s death.

    "The closed stadiums are a ridiculous idea. They can't impose these regulations on us. We must go on strike," he said.

    Aldo Spinelli, the president of Livorno, whose stadium is also at risk of closure, was unhappy with the new legislation.

    "There are three possibilities - we don't play at all, all the clubs play behind closed doors, or we are allowed to have fans," he said.

    "We can't have one rule for one, and one rule for another. We have to reach a unanimous decision on this."

    SOURCE: Agencies


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