Italy Move to Put Cells in Serie A Stadiums

Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini has called for cells to be installed at Serie A stadia for misbehaving fans and less night games.

Salvini held an emergency meeting on Monday in wake of the Inter-Napoli controversy at San Siro, which saw one supporter killed, several stabbed and Kalidou Koulibaly subjected to racist abuse.

“I’m satisfied with how this meeting went,” Salvini told reporters.

“I want to start with numbers. You can’t die from football in 2018, even if the use of knives has little to do with football.

“Fortunately, the numbers of the dead, wounded and those arrested are falling and it’s said that football is an increasingly healthy sport.

“Even the numbers of banned fans are falling. Now it’s 6,500, while every week 12m people travel to games and 6,000 of them are thugs.

“Therefore, we mustn’t confuse fans with these criminals. Football is about emotion, joy, passion and education. It’s an opportunity for thousands of suburban kids.

“As for the cost of law enforcement, we’d like clubs to pay for it too. We want to go back to patrolling games collectively. They’re more easily controllable that way.

“We must make fans responsible and make them understand that those who do wrong will pay for it.

“Those who do wrong as season-ticket holders must pay double. The Coaches, players and directors have more responsibility.

“The issue of suspension in the event of chants during matches is very slippery. We risk putting the fate of many in the hands of a few.

“I prefer to take preventative measures and not leave the power of blackmail to a fringe minority.

“It’s also difficult to find objective criteria for suspension. Personally, I agreed with the decision not to suspend Inter-Napoli as there would’be been so many problems outside the stadium.

“We want to facilitate the construction of more modern and safer stadia. We’re working to have cells installed at stadia, while stewards must have more power.

“There will be Genoa-Milan in the evening once the winter break ends, and historically the relationship between the two sets of fans hasn’t been great.

“I’d therefore prefer that the game is played during the day: football is a business, but it’s also about joy and the right to that joy should come before the receipts.

“I’m against travel bans and the closure of stadiums and stands. It would mean admitting a defeat of the State.

“I’ve been to curvas since I was 15 years old and I’ve also met some thugs, but whoever goes to the stadium to deal or gamble illegally isn’t a partner of mine.

“I’m convinced that the resolution of the problem must arrive through the responsibility of fans.

“Ancelotti’s words? I hope such incidents don’t happen again, but we don’t confuse racism, which must be condemned, with the beauty of football, which is also about rivalry.”