Italian Football Is a Joke
Italian Football: What a joke!
UEFA is becoming a laughing stock with its treatment of Italian football. Violence has been commonplace on the terraces of Italy for years, yet UEFA has done nothing about it. We all know that if English clubs had the same problems they would be banned again.
Then there was the Calciopoli scandal during the summer and the pathetic way the Italian FA backed down and cut the punishments meted out to the guilty parties. The original punishments were barely enough for the crimes committed, let alone the token punishments finally given. And now we have yet more fan violence, except this time it's not English fans on the receiving end but the Italian police.
Years of the police standing by and watching while the Ultras cause trouble has turned round and bitten them back with a vengeance. The Ultras now believe they are above the law. Maybe they are right – after all the Italian FA certainly has no intention of standing up to them.
As per usual they buckle under the first sign of pressure. They shut down all football, stating that it will not be back until they have found a solution to the problems. A week later it is back, with no solution in sight, but only at certain stadiums, the ones that pass stringent new safety standards. This despite the fact the trouble did not occur in stadiums anyway so improving the stadiums is not the answer.
A day later the San Siro, despite being nowhere near meeting the new safety standards, is allowed to open its doors to 37,000 season ticket holders, among them the Ultras that are supposedly the root cause of the trouble.
They will never sort out their problems while the Italian FA continues to be so weak. If the FA is incapable of sorting out its problems then it is about time that UEFA stepped in and did something. A ban from European competition could well scare Italy into doing something to fix their problems.
Article written by Tris Burke