Roma have been forced to cancel their open training session, previously planned for Saturday afternoon.
The Curva Sud, the hardcore section of Roma’s support, have released a statement confirming that they won’t attend this weekend’s Rome derby.
Corriere dello Sport (Marco Evangelisti) The Olimpico used to be the place of passion and intelligence, now it’s become an empty void. There is neither body nor blood in the curve, and there’s little soul. There are still some who fondly remember the days when no one stood alone in the stands. When the two sets of fans would secretly smuggle in their flags and banners into the ground the night before. It had to be secret, not because they had to hide them from the authorities, but because both rivals knew the importance of surprise. They were the days when the Olimpico was full, so full that people didn’t count tickets sold but the number of empty seats instead, one or two at a time. On 25th March, 2000, some think there were 74,074 fans there, some think there were 74,076, maybe because people counted at 2 different times and a couple of people had gone to the toilet. It hardly matters, the Olimpico was bursting at the seams. Lazio won 2-1 in front of what might have been the biggest attendance ever at a derby; it’s impossible to say for certain, as the stadium has been expanded, reduced, torn apart and rebuilt again numerous times throughout its eventful history. Continue reading
Il Tempo (Adriano Serafini) In the old days, there was a derby that you could start to feel well before the referee’s whistle sounded to start the match in front of an always packed Olimpico. It’s a distant memory now, considering the rapid decline in attendances in recent years and the number of fans expected to watch the stracittadina next Sunday. It’s unlikely that it will break the record for the lowest attendance of all time, a sad record that was achieved last April when just over 23,000 fans ‘filled’ the stands to watch Spalletti’s Roma win 4-1. But expectations are not high, at least for the Giallorossi. Roma fans don’t seem to have changed their minds, even though they are 2nd in the league and closed the gap on Juventus this week, as only 3,000 or so tickets have been bought for the ‘away’ game against their Biancocelesti rivals.