Monday, 13 October 2008

Travel ban for Italy fans

World champions Italy will not allow their own fans to travel to away games indefinitely after trouble flared during Saturday's goalless draw in Bulgaria.

Ugly scenes in SofiaThe World Cup Group 8 qualifier in Sofia at the weekend was marred by some sections of the visiting fans throwing bottles, with fascist salutes and chants also reported.

Three Italian fans were detained by police after burning a Bulgarian flag.

Police brought the situation under control but then Bulgaria fans whistled during the playing of the Italian national anthem.

The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) have now decided they will not take up their allocation of tickets for away fixtures until further notice.

FIGC President Giancarlo Abete has condemned those involved and is determined to bring the fans involved in the ugly scenes in Bulgaria to justice.

"Until we have certainties and we are able to verify certain things, we will not ask for any tickets for Italy's away games," said Abete. "I feel great bitterness and pain for what has happened.

"Everyone knows the process to isolate these individuals is long but this is a dark episode.

"I believe with all the technological means available we can now identify those individuals.

"I don't believe they are fans but individuals who are prone to delinquent behaviour with the intention of damaging the image of our nation.

"But we have all of their names and we will punish them."

World football's governing body FIFA have confirmed that "an investigation has been launched" and that they are "currently in the process of collecting all the relevant information".

The Azzurri host Montenegro in Wednesday's World Cup qualifier in Lecce, where security has been increased.

Their next away game is in Montenegro on March 23, before their matches against Georgia in September and the visit to Dublin for a game against the Republic of Ireland in October 2009.

Source: Sky Sports

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