Football Hooliganism in Italy
Category : Articles
Hooligan groups have been a great threat to football and have caused many to watch soccer games on TV rather then going to the stadium. The term Hooligan, also known as ultras, refers to an impuslive and destructive behaviour, commonly associated with football and university sports. This term can also be applied to general disorderly behaviour and vandalism, often under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In the past ten years, hooligans in England have decreased significantly due to the strong effort that the police and government has put in into stopping them. On the other hand, ultras in italy are still a great cause of concern for fans and families who want to spend their Sunday afternoon at the stadium watching their favourite team play. The two main reasons why ultras grups are still a big concern in Italy are because of the police??™s incapability of using unexagerated force against them, for example, shooting at them, and also because of the lack of sicurity that the stadiums in Italy have.
Unlike in England, in Italy the conflict between hooligan groups and police has increased significantly over the past 10 or more years. Certainly, most of the blame for this accurance goes to hooligan grups, which don??™t make life any easier to the policemen that are on petrol near the stadium. In contrast, the police sometimes exaggerate in the way they use force and power to stop these clans. For example, a recent incident that involved Lazio ultras and Juventus ultras ended with a twentysix year old man dead. The incident happened at an auto grill in a highway close to Rome. While the two groups were fighting, a man called the police. By the time the police arrived on the other side of the highway,around 50 meters away from the incident, the two gangs had already stopped fighting and a group of four Lazio ultras were in a car ready to go to the stadium. Theoliceman in the car that was on the other side of the highway , without hesitation, shot two bullets which ended up killing one of the ultras in the car. This tragedy caused much anger from ultrans fans around Italy and that night the center of Rome was trashed and ruined by these vandals. This incident, like many others like it, caused an even greater tension between the police force and ultras groups because there was no reason for the policeman to shoot at the man if he had already stopped fighting. A gesture like this certainly does not decrease the problems that these groups cause at the stadium, but rather increase them.
The other reason why ultras groups are still a big concern in Italy is because of the lack of sicurity that the stadiums have. Rather than having police petrolling the stadium at whole time during the game, In Italy we have Caddies. Caddies are a type of Security, just like police, but lack in the power to arrest people or use force against them if, for example, there is a fight taking place. The only thing they can actually do is call the police to report the incident. By the time the police arrive, the fight is too big to stop or someone is alreadly badly heart. In addition to this, security cameres in the stadiums were only introduced one year ago. Before then , people that caused fights or any other type of vandal acitivity, were practically impossible to recognize or locate. As for now, police have only the authority to patrol around and near the stadium only before and after the game. This lack of security at the stadium causes more incidents than normal, because the people that casuse these incidents are not stopped in time and they are not arrested and banned from the stadiums.
These are only two of the many reasons why ultras groups are still a great cause of concern in Italy and also why the threat of ultras in italy will not decrease anytime soon. The Italian government should adopt similar techiniques and laws that England has used to successfully combat hooligans in their country. It is unacceptable and disgraceful to see a nation and a beautiful sport ridiculed by groups of criminals that could could be stopped with some good will and professionalism.