Sports Outside the Beltway

Italian Soccer Teams Play Without Fans

I guess the Serie A teams should hope they have good TV deals.

Only six soccer stadiums in Italy meet security requirements, meaning that league games in other arenas will be played behind closed doors.

The Olympic Stadium in Rome made the list that was drawn up during a meeting of security and sports officials Thursday, while the San Siro stadium in Milan did not, the Interior Ministry said.

The other stadiums that were deemed safe were in Genoa, Siena, Cagliari, Turin and Palermo. Arenas in Florence, Naples and Bologna were among the 25 considered unsafe.

This is all going to go under review, according to the article, and they may choose to open more stadiums in “coming days”. Night games are also out.

Wow. I can’t imagine not being allowed to attend games at my football team’s stadium. What a development. This is, unfortunately, the only way to send a message to fans that this is not acceptable – control over admission is the only instrument a sport really has over its fans. Authorities hope that things don’t get too out of hand, and are faced with hard decisions when they do.

What a fall from winning the World Cup last year – first the deregulation of top clubs, and now this. Italian soccer has fallen far in world opinion in only a few months.

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