Sunday, 16 August 2009

Special ID cards for away fans

Football fans in Italy will have to obtain a special membership card if they wish to follow their team on their travels in 2010.

Tessera del TifosoItaly's Interior Minister Roberto Maroni announced that from January 1, 2010 all away fans will be refused entry unless they have the requisite identity card.

The government hope this will help them in the fight against hooliganism and football-related violence which has so long plagued the Italian game.

"Severe measures were put in place against violence in stadiums after the death of (Filippo) Raciti, which led to a decrease in injuries and arrests," said Maroni, referring to the Italian policeman who was killed during riots between Catania and Palermo fans in February 2007.

"That shows that strictness pays and for next season we intend to continue on this path, pressing on with the use of the supporter's card.

"By December 31 every area of the stadium must activate preferential 'fast lanes' for those with the card.

"I hope the new measures serve to win over the unreasonable resistance of some football clubs."

Fans will be encouraged to sign up for the scheme as soon as possible with special turnstiles at stadiums for those in possession of the 'Tessera del Tifoso'.

From the new year supporters will be banned from travelling to away games without it, while clubs will then only be able to sell new season tickets to card holders.

The issue is set to be discussed at the Italian Football League's general assembly meeting in Milan next week.

The announcement has been met with anger among the Ultras and a mass protest has been organised in Rome on September 5 by supporters' clubs.

Source: Reuters

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