January 27, 2010

Updating the Juventus situation in the Stadio Olimpico...

If you read last week's post, you're aware of the racism situation in Turin, Italy.  To quickly recap, one of the world's most successful clubs, Juventus, had its fans in a section of their stadium suspended for a game against Roma this past weekend because of racist chants directed at an Inter Milan player.  So, how was that issue covered in the recaps of the Roma-Juventus game?  Eh.  ESPN's Soccernet game report didn't even mention it.  Neither did Goal.com.

Here are some images from the game showing the Curva Sud, the empty section of the stadium:

The easiest job he'll have all year

The empty section behind Roma's goal in the second half

If you're curious, Roma won the game in dramatic fashion.  A goal in the final minutes from defender John Riise gave the visitors a dramatic 2-1 comeback victory in what was one of the biggest games in Italy - on par with the level of NFL playoffs.  That might explain the excitement of Roma's announcer calling the winning goal in the following clip.  Suggestion: turn the volume on your computer down...

I still maintain that the bigger story was the exclusion of fans from an entire quarter of the stadium.

Juventus coach Ciro Ferrara celebrates the game's opening goal.
His team went on the lose the game 2-1 and his job is now in jeopardy.

Either way, the punishment against Juventus and its fans has been extended to tomorrow's (Thursday) game in Milan against Inter in the Italian Cup.  If you recall, the racist chants from the Juventus supporters were directed at Inter Milan's Mario Balotelli, so it is understandable that Milan and Italian soccer officials decided to keep Juventus fans from congregating in the stadium.  Typically, visiting fans get their own security-enforced and quartered-off sections in away stadiums, but instead no tickets have been sold for that portion of Milan's San Siro Stadium.  I'm not sure what it will look like on the visitors side, but the home Curva will likely be packed to the gills looking something like this:

There's nothing quite like a soccer game in Milan.  Thankfully, this time around, Juve fans won't be there to spoil the "beautiful game."  I'll be sure to keep you updated.


  1. Do you think suspending the fans was the right course of action?

  2. I think it was the absolute least that they could do and still feel ok about taking action. It's a reactionary response, right? It's just one or two games and a fine for the club. So how is that going to solve the problem over the long term? Is there any way of knowing whether Juve ultras will resume these racist chants at the next game? I just don't think suspending fans is the only thing they can do. I think the team and the league could go much farther with awareness programs and calling attention, globally if necessary, to the actions of these fans.