Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Further bans announced for fans

Catania supporters have been banned from attending Saturday's Serie A game at Inter with the Italian authorities continuing to clamp down after Napoli fans got the season off to a troubled start.

Stop Alla Violenza!Bans on fans attending certain matches were used regularly in Italy last season following the deaths of a policeman and a supporter in separate incidents in 2007.

But Interior Minister Roberto Maroni has signalled his intention to adopt an even harder line this time.

"From now on, if a match is considered high risk, away fans will automatically be banned and if it's considered very high risk I'll consider having it played behind closed doors," Maroni told a Senate commission.

"There will be no tolerance of violence," he added as he announced that he was stopping Catania fans from travelling after the newly-formed security body CASMS (Committee for the Analysis of Security in Sporting Events) had previously given them the green light for Saturday's visit to the San Siro.

CASMS had already banned Fiorentina and AC Milan fans from their respective Sunday games at Napoli and Genoa, considering them high risk encounters.

Maroni said clubs whose fans caused serious disturbances risked having them banned from away games all season, like Napoli's.

Sections of the Naples team's supporters were involved in violence during their opening day visit to Roma on August 31, when a Rome-bound train was ransacked causing causing 500,000 euros in damage.

Parts of Napoli's Stadio San Paolo have also been closed until the end of October, a decision the club is appealing against.

Meanwhile, Minister Maroni has also announced a new advertising campaign (see below) designed to stamp out violence at football matches in the country - "Stop Alla Violenza" (Stop the violence).

"The television adverts will be shown on Rai, on sporting websites and it will be displayed in all stadia with big screen facilities," Maroni said.

"All Serie A and B players will wear shirts with a message against violence.

"Moreover, from September 20, for an entire week an advert will be shown in major cinemas across the country to get the anti-violence message across to fans."

Source: Reuters

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