Wednesday, November 14, 2007

ANOTHER FUNERAL

The funeral of the young man who has become known all over Italy as Gabriele or Gabbo took place in Rome today: Gabriele Sandri, a Lazio fan [admiteddly an ultrà, but that does not necessarily mean violent] was travelling to the Lazio - Inter match in Milan on Sunday with friends when they stopped at a service station near Arezzo. Another car containing Juventus fans drew up and a scuffle broke out. A policeman watching from across the road allegedly fired first into the air and then a second shot was, he claims, fired by accident, killing Gabriele.


"Why, why?" I want to ask. "It's meant to be a game. Why is it necessary to so much as argue about it, let alone fight?" By Sunday evening violence had broken out all over Italy, with police stations being attacked and scenes of unbelieveable destruction around the Olimpico Stadium in Rome. I can understand fans wanting to vent their anger but is that going to bring him back? Is it going to make anybody listen? Of course not. What good anyone thinks further violence will do is beyond me . What gets into perfectly reasonable citizens when they put on their football scarves and acquire this "team" mentality? What happens to them when they join an angry crowd? Perhaps Crushed can explain it to me.


Things are likely to turn even uglier as graffiti demanding "Justice for Gabriele " have appeared near the church where his funeral was held and there was anti-police chanting today. Worse, graffiti saying, "We want another Raciti" have now appeared.




My guess is that, rather like the situation in Britain after 7/7 and 21/7, the police force is very jumpy since the murder of ispettore Raciti in football violence in February [although the shooting of an innocent man in Britain was almost certainly partly due to bungling at a very high level, whilst this appears to be an individual policeman's tragic mistake]. I feel, of course, for Gabriele's family for no amount of apologising by police or State is going to help them. And the other person in my thoughts today is ispettore Raciti's widow, who has said that no one has learnt anything from her husband's death and has called for the closure of the stadiums.





So many lives have been affected by this one moment of mindlessness, which led, it seems, to another of carelessness: one young life lost, the lives of his poor family altered forever and the life of the officer involved ruined, too, as he has said himself. And a woman who, in the midst of her own grief at least hoped that football "fans" would come to their senses, is faced tonight with the thought that her beloved husband may have died in vain. Once again, in Italy, what a waste - for the sake of a game.

9 comments:

leslie said...

How tragic for everyone involved. I hope everything will settle down quickly. My father was a referee and ultimately the Commissioner for British Columbia when I was growing up and we'd sometimes go to the games to watch. Dad always told us to stay clear of the field if any fighting broke out, especially when the Italian or British teams were playing. They can get very emotional during the games - both players and fans. We saw lots of melees in our day even here. But to get to the point of calling police "murderers" and to start brandishing guns in public is just too much. I'll be checking this out in the news.

Crushed by Ingsoc said...

Welshcakes, there is only reasonable explanation. We evolved as a species to die for our pack.
Pack dynamics is simple, if you recognise his face and rcognise his expressions, then he's one of your pack. You and the others all know eachother- therefore you can co-operate and hunt.

Meet a stranger, he can't help you. You don't recognise his movements. He's a threat.

So two bands of Homo Erectus meeting, fought to the death. It's how we are programmed.
Football brings up those instincts. I'm not a brawler myself, never get into fights, but even I can't quite explain the hatred I feel at the sight of a claret and blue shirt.

I'm a make love not war person and I feel like that, so imagine what the 'Friday is a night for fighting' types get like.

Football isn't just a game- its when men get to play war. Horrible as war is, we're programmed to miss it.

jmb said...

I guess we women will never understand this phenomenon.

Of course it is more than a game, especially in Italy, for football is a huge business enterprise. Not only that but the teams are made up of players from other cities or even countries and play there only because they are paid to do so. One day a player for Juventus, next week he plays for Inter-Milan as he is sold off.

But the fans fighting is totally irrational for the reasons above. That said it seems rather irresponsible of the policeman to be discharging his gun in such a situation.

Shaking my head at the senselessness of it all.

Winchester whisperer said...

I agree with Crushed - football's not a game, it's an outlet for aggression. Death is the natural consequence of this, sadly. I suppose we could bring back the amphitheatres instead...

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Leslie. Thanks for that insight. Yes, such a tragedy. Crushed, thank you. That's a very interesting and honest explanation. I never thought about pack dynamics in this connection before but I think you must be right. Hi, jmb. Yes, football is so corrupt in Italy. All this big money seems to have done it no good anywhere. But as you say, the only word is "senseless". Hi, WW. Sadly, I fear it is so...

Abbey said...

It's a senseless tragedy Welshcakes...Yes it has to do with a pack mentality, male agression, We had a similiar situation here when a young koori boy was killed escaping from police.... In the aftermath, the grieving, sydney was bought to a standstill with riots... in the same way, the boys parents pleaded for understanding and non-violence...

by then the mobs were past anger for the original tradgedy...it was some kind of group hysteria and violence...

It's heartbreaking, and if your media is like ours they sensationalised it...which makes them part of it...It's just all so needless and a waste of a young mans life...

my prayers are with his family

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, abbey. I didn't know that had happened in Sydney. How very sad. It is a tragic waste, as you say.

jams o donnell said...

THere is certainly a pack mentality when it comes to football. There is the same mentality in plenty of other areas too, ON the other hand the vast majority of fans know exactly what the game is:just a game, albeit one where the stars earn shedloads of cash. It's not a gladiatorial contest...although it might be interesting if defenders were given nets and tridents!

Seriously the deaths were pointless

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, jams. Thanks for your insight, too, on something I know so little about. Yes, such a pointless death. But what do you think can be done about it, if anything?

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