Genoa gets 2-match home stadium ban after protests
Genoa was banned from playing at home for its final two home
matches this season following a protest-filled 4-1 loss to
The league announced the decision a day after Sunday’s match
with Siena was suspended for about 45 minutes early in the second
half, when Genoa fans threw flares onto the pitch and climbed atop
barriers as they were faced by stewards in riot gear.
With their side trailing 4-0, players tried to appease the
hard-core ”ultra” fans by removing their shirts to acknowledge
they weren’t worthy of wearing them.
Also, police identified three fans who were involved and banned
them from sport events for five years, according to the ANSA news
It was the latest in a long list of crowd trouble incidents at
Serie A matches, and Italian Olympic Committee president Giovanni
Petrucci declared Monday that the situation is ”beyond the point
of no return.”
Genoa only has two home games remaining this season – vs.
Cagliari on May 2 and vs. Palermo on May 13.
The loss left Genoa one point above the relegation zone, and
resulted in coach Alberto Malesani being fired for the second time
”It’s not enough to ban the stadium, we need to stop these
delinquents that are damaging football and Genoa,” Serie A
president Maurizio Beretta said.
Italian football federation president Giancarlo Abete said the
players shouldn’t have given in to the fans’ demands, but Genoa
president Enrico Preziosi said taking off the shirts ”made good
sense, to prevent something worse from happening.
”They were throwing fireworks and small bombs onto the pitch,”
Preziosi added. ”These 60-70 people are not fans, they’re just
An Italy-Serbia match in the same stadium last season was
stopped in similar circumstances – albeit with Serbian fans causing
the violence. There were also massive clashes following the
shooting of a Lazio fan by a police officer at a highway rest stop
in 2007. And the hard-core ”ultra” fans forced the 2004 Rome
derby to be suspended after a false rumor spread that a boy had
been shot by police outside the stadium.
The latest protests came just a week after all Italian matches
were canceled following the death of Piermario Morosini in a Serie
B game due to cardiac arrest.
”I’m not sure people realize what is happening to part of the
football world,” Petrucci said. ”A week ago we had a drama and
there was dedication to (improve), but yesterday it seemed like
nothing had happened at all. We showed how you can ruin the best
show in the world.
”Whoever can intervene needs to, and CONI is leading the
list,” Petrucci added. ”I just hope that starting tomorrow we
don’t go back to just talking about matches with nobody admitting
that we should be ashamed of ourselves.”