verona fans

An unacceptable behavior by a group of Verona 'fans'...

The match of Livorno against Verona is always special, mainly because of political beliefs with which the Ultra groups of the two teams are connected. In Saturday's match (20/10), Verona fans exceeded the limits and values that required to recognize by all fans movements.

"Verona deserves to be punished for life, there is nothing else to add." said the leader of Livorno, Andrea Luci. Approximately 30 minutes after the start of the match, some of the fans of the away team, began to shout a slogan against Piermario Morosini, a player of Livorno who died before about six months, betrayed by his heart. A tragedy, which went round the world and made fans of different teams to pay tribute to the unlucky player.

Although in the ideology of Ultras the respect for the dead is a requirement, there are few times in recent decades, that buried in the ditch of the field. Several Ultra Groups in Italy identified with specific ideologies. Those of Livorno are on the left and Veronese on the right.

The old leaders of Brigate Gialloblu of Verona, tried to dissuade the younger members from engaging with the right-wing extremists. Verona Front and Hellas Army are the right-wing cores, with strong racist elements in the South supporters and Rude Boys are their rival. Livorno may not be the big opponent, such as Vicenza, Atalanta and teams in the South such as Napoli, but among the Ultra Group's there is a big hate.

verona front fans
Verona Front fans

The truth is that this slogan was heard by a small group among the guests and although not recorded by referees, members of DIGOS, a law enforcement group in Italy, recorded the slogan in a video. Flavio Tosi, mayor of Verona and fan of the team, argued that the slogan is unacceptable. He promised to call Morosini's relatives to apologize and will tell his players to go out on the pitch for the next game with shirts with the number 25 and hold a minute's silence. "Luckily, I did not hear any slogans. I disconnect myself from it and I apologize to everyone at the club." said the general manager of the team, Giovanni Gardini.

The former ace of the national Italian team and deputy chairman of the Federation of Italy Demetrio Albertini, made clear that fines and warnings are not sufficient in such cases. "We need to think and do something about it." he said and added that is a job for all supporters to speak out and isolate those who dishonor the team that way."

Finally, the team fined with 50,000 fine and a warning... The authorities, however, seem to have arrest four fans.

The petal of Hellas Verona, has some history with such cases of hate. Especially as regards to racism. Gazzetta dello Sport has written in the past : "These fans of Verona are a report of terror". Yahoo sports reminds us, that in 1982-83, fans have thrown bananas to Cagliari striker, Julio Cesar Uribe. In 1996, at the derby with Chievo, the fans expressed their opposition to the intentions of the administration, to acquire the black defensive player, Maickel Ferrier. A black puppet hanged in railing and one banner said: "Negro, get out of here." Note that this transfer did not completed and the administration said that he was 'injured'. Shortly after, the player signed for Salernitana...

The president of Verona, before the match against Livorno had stated that: "I am proud that I am an avowed enemy of Livorno." When the score became 2-0, he celebrated provocatively, showing the opponent fans. Of course, it was not the first case. When the team promoted from Serie B, at the celebrations with the fans he started a racist song about the South Italians.

When Diego Maradona played for the first time against Verona, said: "We were greeted with a banner that made me suddenly understand that the match was not just about football." The banner read "Welcome to Italy".

In the main article of Gazzetta Dello Sport after the incident with Verona, the author emphasized that we must finally stop such behavior in stadiums. "It is much easier than to restore the good economic situation" he wrote.

We do not forget, however, that this newspaper during the Euro, published a sketch of Balotelli likening him to King Kong.

The issue has not to do only with the fans, it is clear that a small group of 'evil' fans is affecting other big groups and the result is a wrong image for the fans overall. The Ultras movement must act as a whole society, as the phenomenon exists everywhere and not only in the stadiums.