Monday, November 12, 2007

Aw, Crap, here we go again...

Weekend Italian matches called off

This weekend's football matches in Serie B and Serie C have been postponed in the wake of Sunday's violence in the Italian league.

The country's football federation (FIGC) announced the decision this evening following a series of meetings during the day.

And Giancarlo Abete, president of the country's football federation (FIGC), has not ruled out the possibility of the postponements continuing after the international break.

'We don't intend to restart all tournaments from Sunday 25,' he said.

A bizarre one, this. An apparently innocent fan caught up in a fight and accidentally shot by the police, thus provoking major rioting in Rome and elsewhere.

Unlike last time, I don't think you can lay this one at the feet of the Ultra'. Rather, it has more to do with the fraught relationship between Italian society at large and the police. Part of the problem goes back to mid/late-1970s (I believe). At that time, in response to a number of murders of policemen by outfits like the Brigate Rosse and various organized crime crews, the Italian parliament broadened, greatly, the definition of when the police were legally allowed to use lethal force. The result was twofold: First of all, the Italian police killed about 600 people throught the decade of the 1980s (once again, I believe). Secondly, it provoked deep distrust for the police among Italians in general, especially those who could remember fascism. Things are better now, but events like Saturday's do cause some of the old bitterness to come to the fore again.

Anyway, it looks like, once again, calcio is going to take a little time off, and hopefully allow cooler heads to prevail.

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