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SBD Global/May 7, 2014/International Football

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi Calls For Football Reform In Light Of Recent Violence

Italian PM Matteo Renzi "has promised reforms for Italian football in light of the incidents which overshadowed Saturday night's Coppa Italia final," according to Ben Gladwell of ESPN. Renzi, a Fiorentina fan, "was present at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome for the final which was won by Napoli after a 45-minute delay to kickoff." A day later, Renzi "watched his own 11-year-old son playing in a children's tournament in Florence, far away from the drama of the previous night." He said, "I felt how football still belongs to families at this level. Once the season is finished -- between July and August -- then we will think of ways of giving football back to the families. Because on Saturday night, I went to the stadium as a father, and now as a father, I feel something has to be done to ensure football returns to being a game, and not an opportunity for rival gangs to go to war." Renzi's ideal "is to rid Italian football of the ultras, who he believes enjoy far too much power." He said, "In a civilized country, Genny la Carogna [the Napoli fan who spoke with Hamsik], with that shirt he had on, would not be in the Curva, but he would be doing time" (ESPN, 5/6).
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