Milan fans will be banned from attending Sunday’s Serie A opener at Genoa, despite an appeal from the home club for visiting supporters to be allowed to attend.
The committee for security and public order in Genoa decided the match was too high risk because of fears that some supporters would loook to avenge the fatal stabbing of a Genoa fan at a match between the two sides in 1995.
“Having to take this decision after 12 years is a defeat. However, there have been worrying signs and crazy messages, many, not only written on walls,” Giuseppe Romano, Genoa’s civil head of security, said.
Italy has improved stadium security in the wake of a riot in Catania last February when a policeman was killed. The championship was briefly suspended following the death and some matches were played behind closed doors while away fans were banned at other games.
Genoa return to Serie A for the first time since 1995 and their president Enrico Preziosi had earlier urged the authorities to allow Milan fans into his club’s stadium.
“To ban access to the stadium for Milan fans would be a failure,” Preziosi told Italian media on Wednesday.
His thoughts were echoed by players, with Milan’s Gennaro Gattuso lamenting the fact that no visiting supporters would be present on the opening day of the season.
“It would be awful if we started in this way for the first match of the season,” Milan midfielder Gennaro Gattuso told reporters.
“The best thing for everybody is that all the fans can participate in a soccer match.”