SERIE A AND B SUSPENDED
The Serie A and B Championships have been suspended after the death of a policeman in the Catania riots.
FIGC President Luca Pancalli made the announcement this evening. “We will immediately set up a permanent round table commission to discuss the situation between sport and politics. It’s not possible to carry on like this. If this is football, then I’m stopping everything.”
The Sicilian derby, eventually won 2-1 by Palermo this evening, had been interrupted after 57 minutes due to crowd trouble when tear gas floated on to the pitch.
While play resumed and the final whistle sanctioned the Rosanero’s victory, the problems intensified outside the Stadio Massimino.
A large group of Catania supporters engaged in a full-scale riot with the police and one officer, 38-year-old Filippo Raciti, was killed when struck in the face by a homemade bomb.
It’s now reported that hundreds of people have been rushed to the local hospital with injuries, although none are thought to be life threatening.
This tragic incident comes just a week after Ermanno Licursi, director of Calabrian amateur side Sanmartinese, was killed in a fight with opposition players after the final whistle of a Serie D game against Cancellese.
The Amateur League was suspended and this latest shameful scenario has pushed the FIGC to take similar action with Serie A, B, C and the Youth Championships.
Guidolin: It was a war zone
Palermo Coach Francesco Guidolin blamed Catania fans for the ‘war zone’ atmosphere and warned football “can’t carry on like this.”
The Rosanero won the Sicilian derby 2-1 at the Stadio Massimino this evening, but it was interrupted by crowd trouble and tear gas.
“We won the match on the pitch – or rather both matches, seeing as there was a 30-minute gap – but we cannot enjoy this victory. Football cannot last for much longer like this. There will be no joy in it, there’s no point.”
The trouble started when the Palermo fans entered the Stadium in the second half. They were set to be let in after 10 minutes, but for reasons that remain unclear the supporters didn’t arrive until almost the hour mark.
Following Andrea Caracciolo’s goal, flares were thrown from the Catania section towards the Palermo fans and when they fought back the police used tear gas to disperse the crowd.
“I don’t know who started it, but I did see what happened since we arrived in Catania,” explained a clearly shaken Guidolin.
“We were escorted to and from the hotel for two days by 50 police officers, as if we were in a war zone. I was in the team bus that was pelted with eggs, vegetables and rocks. It’s not possible for this uncivilised treatment in the 21st Century.”
The last time these two teams met resulted in a 5-3 Palermo victory and was also marred by crowd trouble.
“We all have to try to calm down the situation around football now. The Press and Coaches must steer away from the banality of their post-match comments that only serve to stir up violence and ill-feeling.”
Taking the first step, Guidolin admitted that both Palermo’s goals should probably have been disallowed.
“I hold up my hands – we were aided by two incidents that went our way, just as last week we were damaged by moments going against us. I have never criticised the referee and never will.”
Gazzetta Dello Sport
Stupid fuckers.Something must be done now
Unfortunately it's already too late