An Italian football fan has died of his injuries, after being ran over a van during a confrontation between Milan and Napoli fans ahead of the match.
Milan vs Napoli: Violence that Cost a Life
A 35-year-old man was hit by a van while being in the vicinity of the vehicle transporting Napoli supporters. The driver of the vehicle chose to speed along in an attempt to avoid Inter Milan’s fans, but while doing so reportedly ended up running over the man who later died of his wounds in hospital.
The chaos had four fans hurt of whom one was also stabbed. The clashes took place outside the San Siro stadium. A total of 10 minivans proceeded towards the stadium, transporting fans when they were suddenly assaulted by the bystanders.
Estimated 100 people carrying sticks surrounded the vans and started hammering on the windows, reportedly breaking windows. The man who died, Daniele Belardinelli was an ultra-football fan who was banned from attending matches because of his participation in previous clashes.
While details remain to be thrashed out, media outlets have been saying that he got hit by the speeding van, although the police cautioned against jumping to conclusions.
What the Police Think?
The police are still not certain. They have said that they would study the CCTV coverage and come up with an announcement when the details have been established. Napoli’s Mayor has said that he would ban fans from travelling to Away matches.
According to Marcello Cardona, the practice was too dangerous and the 100-odd fans who describe themselves as ultras will be ousted from their home turf in a separate wing of the stadium. Meanwhile, three fans were introduced.
Napoli headman Carlo Ancelotti also accused Inter Milan fans that they were repeatedly using racial slurs and chanting racist songs.
There have been multiple calls for the match to be cancelled as well, with coaches stepping in and some of the footballers being targeted.
The Opinion of Spectators
People who would spend their adulthood in picking up scraps must be very low on the economic scale, some barbed on Twitter. Italy’s Interior Minister Matteo Salvini tweeted that in 2018 “you cannot die for a game of football”.
Mr. Salvini is of course right. The belligerence coming from the so-called “ultras” smacks of football violence in the United Kingdom from 20 years ago. There’s no real understanding why fans continue to exhibit signs of aggression other than the fact that they want to feel like “they belong”.
However, allowing crowds of aggressive individuals to continually assault football fans points to specific failures within the police and responsibility should be sought over the continuous flare ups between fans.
Clubs should also have a much more responsible role by extending warnings to their own fans and seeking to impose penalties, such as bans, exclusions and fines.
The judiciary may even try and impose bans such as exclusion from approaching specific sports facilities. Unless everyone works together to counteract on the growing aggression in sports, fans are very likely to continue running as they have always been – with excessive, life-threatening aggression.