Monday, May 05, 2014


By now, footage and reports of the horrific events which took place in Rome in the name of "sport" on Saturday evening have gone around the world. Even here, amid conflicting reports, it has been hard to ascertain exactly what happened, who started it and the timescale, but what is certain is this:

Ahead of the Italian Cup Final between Napoli and Fiorentina on Saturday, there were clashes between fans outside the Stadio Olimpico and three Napoli supporters were injured, one critically. Italian newspapers reported this morning that this fan, Ciro Esposito, may, if he survives, lose the use of his legs. Inside the stadium, the kick-off was delayed because of these events and Napoli captain Marek Hamsik and the authorities appeared to be "negotiating" with the Napoli ultrà leader known as Genny 'a carogna, who is said to have given his "permission" for the game to start. The authorities say they were not negotiating but were informing Genny 'a carogna of Ciro Esposito's condition.

Eventually, and in the presence of Prime Minister Renzi, the Italian national anthem was booed in the stadium and the game started.

This much, as I have said, has been reported internationally. However, I can find no international press reports about the t-shirt that Genny 'a carogna was wearing, nor of the heartbreak that this has caused a Sicilian widow:  The t-shirt slogan read "Free Speziale", a reference to Antonino Speziale, who is serving time for the murder of Sicilian police inspector Filippo Raciti in 2007 during an incident of football violence. Marisa Grasso Raciti told Corriere della Sera that the State seemed to have given in to the will of violent fans on Saturday and that the whole incident was an insult to her husband's memory. She is, understandably, particularly upset by the t-shirt and said that no one in authority had called her to express solidarity or sympathy. As you may imagine, she received a telephone call from Prime Minister Renzi shortly after publication of the interview.

In case anyone is interested, Napoli won the match.

I wrote about the murder of Ispettore Raciti here and here in 2007.

Thanks to Corriere della Sera for making this available:

1 comment:

Lee said...

I just can't garner any interest in football because of the madness, the violence of the game's fans. They're crazy, in my opinion. Dumb and dumber leading dumb and dumber.

I just don't understand (and will never understand) why they behave so over a stupid game of football.

It's all very well to be passionate about a team you support...but that kind of behaviour is sheer mass stupidity; ignorant madness.

They're like a mob of lemmings...they have no mind of their own.


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