The football-related violence that happened on Sunday is a perfect example of how epidemic the hooliganism problem is in Italy. Incidents occurred throughout Italy in Serie A and lower leagues after Lazio supporter Gabriele Sandri was accidentally killed by police earlier in the day.
The incident sparked violent protests throughout Italy:
- Rioters set vehicles alight near Rome’s Stadio Olimpico
- The match between Atalanta and AC Milan was stopped as fans and police clashed
- Hundreds of fans rampaged in Rome and Milan
- Fans attacked police barracks and the Italian Olympic Committee headquarters in Rome
- The match between Roma and Cagliari was postponed, but fans who wielded rocks and clubs turned up outside the ground
It was only last February when similar violence erupted in Italy and resulted in a police officer being killed and all of Italian football being suspended.
The issue seems to be that despite repeated incidents, little is being done to correct the problem. Suspending Italian football matches or banning away fans isn’t fixing the problem. It’s just making it seem that the authorities are taking action.
What needs to happen is similar to the groundbreaking changes that happened as a result of The Taylor Report in 1989-1990 in England. The recommendations coupled with improved policing inside and outside of stadiums has resulted in violence practically being eradicated from inside football grounds in the Premier League.
Without a doubt, Italy needs to take a page from England’s book to help solve the hooliganism problem.