Thursday, April 13, 2006

'Fan' violence could cost Italy Euro 2012

The rash of violence and racism at Italy's soccer matches might cost the country the 2012 European Championship.

"It's our weak point. Episodes of violence happen too often in Italy," Italian federation president Franco Carraro said Thursday.

The worse example of these actions came in a week last December when an Italian Cup match had to be suspended after 20-minutes due to violence (resulting in the use of tear gas) and, in a different match, Ivory Coast defender Mark Zoro threatened to leave the field after suffering racist abuse from traveling Inter Milan fans.

There have been a number of minor incidents since.

Italy is still hopeful that they will be selected over Hungary-Croatia and Poland-Ukraine by UEFA on December 8th, but with the recent pressure to stop such actions by fans, they might just be left holding the bag.

If Italy is not awarded the tournament, then they have no one to blame but the those who attend games just to disrupt them. If true fans do not stand up to these bigots, then they do not deserve to host such a great competition.


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