UEFA must act now




UEFA must act now

Rewind back to 1984, AS Roma to play Liverpool in the European Cup final. What follows is a travelling fan's worst nightmare, subjected to mindless attacks, ambushes and stabbings while Italian police stand by and watch or, in some cases, beat Liverpool fans. During the game Liverpool fans were subjected to a hail of missiles while the police again do nothing.

1985 saw Juventus fans throw stones, bottles and other missiles at Liverpool fans until they provoked a reaction which led to the deaths. What do UEFA do? They throw English clubs out of Europe and do nothing about the Italians, not even giving them a slap on the wrist.

Years later English clubs are back in Europe, this time it is the turn of Leeds fans to suffer stabbings and beatings. Again UEFA do nothing. Italy continuously drags football through the mud with doping and match-fixing scandals galore (even their 'hero' of the 1982 World Cup, Paolo Rossi, had previously been banned for life for his part in a match-fixing scandal. But in typical Italian fashion he had been let-off to play for the national side).

Italy's own FA cancelled football in the country this season, following waves of violence at and outside football matches. Now we have those disgusting scenes at last night's Champions League tie between Roma and Manchester United. When will UEFA and FIFA say enough is enough? How can they allow Italy to retain the hosting rights for Euro 2012? Why are Italian teams still allowed to compete in Europe?

Italy will clearly take no action on their own, so it is up to UEFA and FIFA to tell them they are banned from all international and continental competition for the foreseeable future. I include their national sides at all levels in that, they have to be ostracised if the trouble is to be stopped. They have to know this will no longer be tolerated. Let's face it, if England had caused a tenth of the problems Italy has they would be banned from Europe again.

Article written by Tris Burke



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