Football-related violence in Italy and Argentina has hit the headlines many times in 2007. Reuters reports that Milan fans have been banned from Genoa’s stadium this weekend, as reprisals for violence that took place over ten years ago are feared:
AC Milan fans will be banned from attending Sunday’s Serie A opener at promoted Genoa because of fears of violence, officials said on Wednesday. The committee for security and public order in Genoa decided the match was too high risk because of worries that some supporters would seek revenge for the fatal stabbing of a Genoa fan at a match between the two sides in 1995.
‘Having to take this decision after 12 years is a defeat. However, there have been worrying signs and crazy messages, many, not only written on walls,’ Giuseppe Romano, Genoa’s civil head of security, told reporters.
Martha at the Italy Offside blog thinks this a step forward for the Italian authorities, in actually pre-empting trouble for once.
Wow, a non-crisis mandated sign of caution regarding football in Italy! Is this for real? Look out for flying pigs, people, because taking practical decisions like this is pretty much unheard of, at least lately. Moving the game up to the middle of the afternoon and pretend that will help, sure. But actually saying “It’s safer to keep them away for now”? Positively shocking (in a good way).
Meanwhile, in Argentina, the murder of barra leader Gonzalo Acro continues to reverberate. And it looks like the men in charge there just want to brush the whole thing under the carpet, as Joel Richards explains in the Guardian:
The murder of Acro is the third chapter in this series of events, and violence is expected to intensify. Board members from River Plate are keen to brush the issue aside. “This will all be sorted out by a couple of results,” they repeat in the local press. Yet even the most optimistic fans know that a string of good results is, in itself, a big ask. River are in crisis, not just in the stands but also on the pitch.
Perhaps the most alarming thing about that quote is the suggestion that the root of the problem lies with results on the field, rather than much deeper problems in Argentinian society and football, particularly the embedding of hooligan gangs into the fabric of Argentinian clubs, as Sam Kelly has explained here before.