Italian Football Needs to Get It Together

Italy is home of the reigning World Champions and reigning Champions League holders, AC Milan, along with many of the worlds greatest players playing throughout Serie A, including perhaps the worlds best in Brazilian playmaker, Kaka. Kaka was recently quoted as saying that he and other top international players currently playing in Italy would and should consider leaving because of fears for their own lives after numerous recent violent incidents have brought the safety of players and fans into question.

Last week, Lazio fan Gabriele Sandri was accidentally shot by a policeman at a motorway service station near Arezzo on Sunday which prompted violence on the terraces at the game between Atalanta and AC Milan which was abandoned after 7 minutes. An angry mob of fans also stormed the CONI (Italian Olympic Committee) headquarters in Rome later that evening. The incidents follow a recent checkered history for football in the country which was rocked by the death of policeman Filippo Raciti during rioting nine months ago as well as a match-fixing scandal which sent perennial powerhouse Juventus to the second division of Serie B, and Kaka said it may put the top players off moving to Serie A. This violence is reminiscient of the infamous Football Hooliganism which still plagues England and was really awful during the 1980’s and early 1990’s.

As a big fan of Italian football, I hope they get this whole sad saga behind them and are able to secure the grounds in a football mad country. The problem is that most of the stadiums are not modern enough to handle the current need for security. Italy needs to upgrade their facilities and for now, they may have to resort the South American style of putting massive steel fences around the pitch to keep people off the field. This violence has to stop because I really believe a player like Kaka, who is a very astute and religious guy because he will leave and his influence as he is about to receive his first player of the year award is long reaching.

After last years match fixing disaster and the departure of numerous Italian stars to other leagues around Europe, the Italian government and police need to step in and help secure the safety of players and fans. Italy is the capital of European football and for it to remain that way-these steps need to be taken.

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  1. The italians are much worse than we are. The Sheffield Wednesday incidents were awful but they are past and the Euro Cup incident was so long ago–I wish everyone would stop bringing those up.

  2. Wayne, you seem to be forgetting that when Liverpool played in the Champions league final both in 05 and in 07, there were security incidents and breaches to the point where the military has to be brought in. Additionally, the host cities are openly rooting against English teams bc of their supporters hooligan like antics. My point is that I don’t want the Italians to get the same bad stigma.

  3. Elvis is Alive says

    Brits are the worst supporters on the planet and certainly worse than the Italians. The Italian issues are more recent and I am sure they will quell them before it gets out of hand. Kaka will leave anyway I think next year as he almost did this year. He has already won everything for AC MIlan, Real Madrid will be too much to resist.

  4. It is unfortunate the incidents in Italy. Kaka will stay with Milan because he is loved there. He will not make the same mistake that Sheva made with Chelsea.

  5. Kaka will win world player of the year this year but Milan will not even qualify for the Champions league next year, they are digging themselves quite a hole in Serie A–their only chance may be to win it as a repeat this year and pull a Liverpool from 2006 who qualified only as holders which pushed Everton out.

  6. Italy may not even qualify for Euro 08 if they lose to Scotland, that would be poetic justice

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