Saturday, 21 November 2009

Italy delays introduction of fan ID cards

The Italian Interior Minister Roberto Maroni has agreed to postpone the introduction of electronic supporter ID cards until next season.

Tessera del TifosoThe government, prompted by years of football-related violence, wants to make it compulsory for fans to carry the 'Tessera del Tifoso' to away matches so authorities can better track troublemakers.

"(I accept the delay) very happily," Maroni told La Gazzetta dello Sport. "In the summer, I had three clubs in favour and the organised supporter groups against.

"Now I have all the clubs in favour and a few fringe fan groups against."

Maroni had hoped the card system would be in use from January 2010 but the controversial announcement in August was met with widespread anger and mass protests have been staged with supporter's groups arguing the card would restrict their civil liberties.

After holding emergency discussions with officials from clubs, the Lega Calcio and the Italian Fotbball Federation (FIGC), Maroni decided to delay the official introduction.

"Interior Minister Roberto Maroni accepted our request to put back the card system until next season," said Lega Calcio President Maurizio Beretta.

"From this moment on, we begin a phase of very close collaboration with the Government so that we can work together on a new system that has real value for the clubs."

Source: Reuters

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