Serie A news

'Stadium closure laws need rethink'

December 24, 2013
By Ben Gladwell, Italy Correspondent

The president of the Lega Serie A, Maurizio Beretta, has called for a reassessment of the much-maligned rules that have led to various stadium closures this season.

The <I>Curva</i> sections of various grounds in Italy have been closed for matches this season in response to fan chants.
GettyImagesThe Curva sections of various grounds in Italy have been closed for matches this season in response to fan chants.

In collaboration with the Italian FA (FIGC), the Lega has been invoking strict new anti-racism regulations to the letter of the law, closing Curvas up and down the country.

The interpretation of the new rules has been subject to heated discussion, while the Lega reversed its decision to close the Curva Nord for the Milan derby at the weekend after coming under increased pressure from both clubs.

It previously overturned an entire stadium ban in Milan by closing only part of the ground as it grappled with its own rules and regulations, but such scenarios could be avoided in future.

"It is there for all to see the fact that the entire sanctions mechanism has been drawn up badly," Beretta said in La Gazzetta dello Sport. "It was wrong to think of punishing thousands of good fans for the excesses of only a few dozen or at times a few hundred people.

"The system does not work because instead of reducing the influence a small minority can have, their voice has instead been strengthened."

Indeed, different fan bases have joined forces to ridicule the Lega's laws, particularly when it comes to geographical discrimination. Irony has also been used commonly to test the rules, with fans insulting themselves in jest.

"There is a strong desire to have a new look at the sanction mechanism," Beretta added. "Also because we are capable of identifying the people or person responsible for this incorrect behaviour with systems such as the fans' membership card and tickets bearing the owner's name. Therefore, it's wrong to generalise the sanctions."

His words have been backed by the president of the FIGC, Giancarlo Abete, who said: "I'm always happy when I see football being played in front of a full stadium, both for the players on the field and for the fans in the stands. The rules can be improved."

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