Il Tempo (Alessandro Austini) Roma will remain without their fans, their songs and their colours. As if the hardcore supporters’ protests, which have kept them away from the Olimpico for more than a year, weren’t enough – now Spalletti’s squad will be without their ultras away from home as well. Today, in fact, the National Observatory for Sporting Events will ban Romanisti from travelling to Juventus. The result? Very few Giallorossi fans will be at the derby on 4th December (which will start at the usual time of 14.00) and none at all will be in Turin on 17th December. It’s a symbolic ‘double’, taking away the passion from the two games Roma fans are most passionate about.
The Observatory’s decision is the expected consequence of what happened last Sunday in Bergamo, when at the end of the game a group of around 30 Romanisti tried to force open one of the stadium’s gates (a group of Nerazzurri fans were congregating on the other side as they tried to instigate a situation) and threw various things at security forces, resulting in 5 stewards and police officers sustaining light injuries. As they wait for DIGOS (the General Investigations and Special Operations Division) to finish identifying and punish the individuals responsible, the Observatory has already decided to exact a harsh punishment. Giallorossi fans now feel as though they have fallen into a trap: they were ‘unexpectedly’ allowed to go back to Bergamo after being banned from travelling there for 2 years, and it seems as though it was a sort of test of Romanisti maturity.
They failed that test because of a small minority (there were 1,300 fans at the Azzurri d’Italia in total) and any possibility of continuing talks with them will now fade away again. In reality though, not one person who has the authority to make the decision has ever thought about removing the barriers in the Olimpico’s curve. Both Roman clubs and the Questura had slowly been moving forward with a plan to replace the barriers (which are 2.5m high) with a 80cm high railing. But after Bergamo, it will be pointless to continue talking about it. Who knows when they’ll be able to again.
What’s more, it’s not impossible that the Observatory will impose an indefinite ban on Roma fans attending away games, rather than just for the game against Juventus. Such a measure would be “over the top”, according to Sebino Nela, who looks after the club’s relationship with its fans. However, the ultras don’t intend to talk to him.
In the meantime, the Giudice Sportivo limited themselves to fining Pallotta’s club €15,000 after the fans threw smoke bombs in the away end, threw a flare at Atalanta supporters and displayed a banner that was “seriously offensive to fans of the opposition team.” It doesn’t end there though because, in relation to the incidents that occurred outside the stadium, the Giudice – after reading the report of the Procura Federale – gave the Procura the mandate to obtain “the Public Order office’s formal report into what happened.”
Now attention shifts back to the Olimpico: 1,030 Czech supporters are expected to arrive by tomorrow for the Viktoria Plzen game, and they’re prepared for the ban on alcohol and the city’s monuments being guarded. They aren’t particularly worried but, it’s said, they’ll drink all the same. Pescara’s ‘Rangers’ supporters however have made it known that they won’t be going to Roma’s “militarised” ground on Sunday. Then comes the derby, which is troubling in and of itself but could present an opportunity for further protests. Even outside the Olimpico.