Thursday, March 20, 2008


Kick AS Roma out of the Champions League

With Manchester United again drawn against Italian knife merchants AS Roma the spotlight should fall once again on the cowardly tactic of fans carrying knives with which to attack visiting football fans.

AS Roma 'fans' have a reputation that precedes them. 17 United fans have been stabbed in the last two meetings in Rome! Seventeen!

United fans are not all angels by no means. There is a core of their support that will respond to the challenge of mixing it with knife wielding Romans and will give as good as they get. Fine, they know the risks of what they're doing over there.

But the Roma fans are less discriminatory. Any visiting fan becomes fair game for a snide slash. And if the Roman blades don't inflict damage then the Roman robocops will.

Not all fans are snitchy cowards. A significant number are and they seem to get away with it time and time again. UEFA seems powerless to act while the club and the police likewise are paralysed giving the stabbers carte blanche.

If it was England fans holding the blades can you imagine such apathy emanating from the FIFA suits in Switzerland? No chance. We'd be thrown out quciker than you can say 'un, deus, trois.' The English were, rightly, suspended after years of sustained trouble in Europe culminated in the tragic Heysel scenes where dozens of innocent fans were killed.

Sustained action from UEFA, the British government and the clubs have combined to push those dark days behind us.

But in Italy they don't see a problem. UEFA don't see a problem. Instead the worst fans in Europe are Liverpool for trying to get in to see the Champions League Final last season in Athens. Backstabbing isn't on their radar...perhaps it's a way of life for them?!

If there is a single incident in Rome next month, if AS and the Italian authorities cannot guarantee the safety of visiting fans then the only course available is to kick them out of the competition until they put their house in order.

If they are allowed to carry on regardless, like the English were back in the seventies and eighties, then we're going to see people stabbed to death.

The warning signs are there.


I think your right that something must be done.As a Roma fan and an Italian i think behavior like this always seems to rear its ugly head during times of economic stress and dienfranchisement.The Italian economy is begining to struggle jobs once Italian are now going oversees and abhorent behavior is manifesting itself in the form of violence at high profile events like football matches.I too woory about people when the authorities cant protect the innocent.
thanks for your response pep

the knife culture and the apparent randomness of it is scary and needs to be reined in by someone. 17 long before someone is killed?
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