Saturday, February 03, 2007

Outbreaks Of Football Interrupt Italian Violence Season
BBC News, 2nd February 2007

The Italian Violence Federation (VIGC) has suspended all riots indefinitely after serious incidents of football broke out at a Serie A fight between Catania and Palermo.

The VIGC has called off all this weekend's professional and amateur pitched battles, and also cancelled Italy's unfriendly with Romania on Wednesday.

Commissioner Luca Pancalli said: "What we're witnessing has nothing to do with violent disorder, so Italian rioting is stopping."

"One day is not sufficient," Pancalli added. "Without drastic measures, we cannot fight again. We will not allow a minority of sportsmen to ruin the enjoyment of Italian hooligans."

Italian violence has been beset by ugly scenes of passing, shooting and heading in recent years.

The Rome-based FA's efforts to stamp out the growing menace of sportsmanship faced a serious setback in 2006, when eleven Italian footballers ran amok in Germany, destroying all opposition and winning the World Cup.

Commissioner Pancalli was adamant that further outbreaks of athleticism would be harshly dealt with.

"Rest assured, we will be tackling this football problem from behind, bringing it down and hopefully snapping its shins."

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