ROME (AFP) – Italian football federation president Giancarlo Abete said on Monday that Italy fans will be barred from buying tickets to away matches until further notice.
Three Italy fans were arrested on Saturday for burning a Bulgarian flag during a World Cup qualifier in Sofia, which ended in a 0-0 stalemate.
Italian hooligans, thought to belong to right-wing groups, also provoked fights outside the ground before the match kicked off.
“From today we will stop asking for tickets for our supporters for away matches as long as we don’t have any guarantees or ways of verifying (who buys the tickets),” Abete said on Rai Radio.
“We’ll stop asking for tickets but we must remain vigilant because for the match in Cyprus (in Septmeber) we didn’t ask for any tickets and yet some supporters still found a way (to get them).”
Italy, who have won two and drawn one of their World Cup qualifiers, next play away in Montenegro in March.
On Wednesday they host the former Yugolsav republic, looking to continue their unbeaten record in the group.
Eurosport/Reuters: World Cup qual. – Italy away fans ‘should be banned’
FourFourTwo/Reuters: Fascist fans mar Italy draw
Guardian UK: Sofia trouble overshadows young Azzurri‘s point well made
Sofia News Agency: Italian Football Fans Attack Bulgarians Downtown Sofia
International Herald Tribune: Italy’s attacks on migrants fuel debate on racism