Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Spalletti asks for fans help

Roma coach Luciano Spalletti has urged fans to help stamp out hooliganism after violence rocked Italy once again at the weekend.

Three Catania supporters were rushed to hospital after being stabbed before their match in the Italian capital on Sunday, although none of them are in a critical condition.

This latest incident comes just two months after a Lazio fan was shot dead by a policeman and Roma fans rioted in their home city, attacking police barracks and the headquarters of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI).

"Those that commit acts of violence are delinquents, cretins and cowards," Spalletti told radio programme Anch'io lo Sport.

"They need to be stopped and to identify them we need the help of proper supporters.

"They now need to make an effort so that these cowards can be identified."

But Spalletti slammed Catania President Antonino Pulvirenti's suggestion that Roma's Stadio Olimpico should be closed to all fans following Sunday's violence that happened outside the ground.

"Pulvirenti is asking for the Olimpico to be closed? Maybe our 7-0 victory over them last year still hurts," added the Roma boss.

"We need to be careful not to confuse a criminal act with the disappointment of losing.

"Rather than closing a stadium down we need to all be united in the battle against incidents such as these."

The Italian authorities have been quick to act following the incident and have banned Roma fans from Wednesday's Coppa Italia match at Sampdoria.

A brief statement from Italy's anti-hooliganism body explained the reasoning behind their decision.

"After looking at the serious incidents that occurred outside the Stadio Olimpico, which led to three Catania fans being injured, we decided to come down severely on the Roma fans," read the statement from the Osservatorio Manifestazioni Sportive.

"They (the incidents) were caused by a core group of Roma supporters who deliberately organised and carried out the violence.

"We decided to act in the immediate, medium and long-term future."

Source: Sporting Life

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