Italy’s ultras hope to precipitate nationwide stadium ban

Juventus ultras have agreed to join Milan and Inter with their invitation to chant offensive slogans, in a bid to force the closure of all stadiums.

The protest movement is growing after Milan were ordered to play their next home game against Udinese behind closed doors for chants insulting people form Naples.

The rules introduced to stamp out racist abuse in Italian stadiums have been expanded to include “territorial discrimination.”

Inter ultras showed solidarity with Milan and now the Juventus ‘Fighters – Curva Sud Scirea’ have joined in.

“This is just another pointless and unconstitutional mechanism to discriminate against the ultras, condemning freedom of speech,” read the Juve ultras statement.

“During the next game in Florence on October 20 we invite all the fans to sing along with us those ‘famous’ chants of territorial discrimination. We invite supporters everywhere to unite in our protest by showing banners and singing these chants in every stadium on Friday 18, Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 October.”

Inter ultras had already released a statement showing solidarity with their rivals and urging others to follow suit.

It read: “We are ready and we hope that all the Curve will make discriminatory chants so we can have one Sunday with total closure of the stadiums!

“It might be difficult to ensure the bans are simultaneous, but it’s easier to do than to explain!”

The plan from the various different groups of ultras is for all Serie A clubs to receive a ban simultaneously, so that an entire weekend of games will be played behind closed doors.

Even Italian Football Federation President, Giancarlo Abete, admitted that the anti-discrimination rules were open to interpretation.

“I think it would be helpful if there were a period of reflection on the way to apply these rules,” he said. “We are moving within the international rules, though there are contrasting approaches to different discriminatory situations.

“I want to point out the rules on territorial discrimination in the Italian code have been there for a long time. The only thing that has changed is the degree of punishment.”