Stadium ban for Napoli 'ultra'

Napoli fans (AFP)
Napoli fans (AFP)

Milan - Italian authorities have on Tuesday issued a five-year stadium ban to the hardline 'ultra' supporter from Napoli who was at the centre of surreal events during a violence-marred Cup final last weekend.

Gennaro De Tommaso, a renowned leader of one of Napoli's 'ultra' groups and known ominously as Genny 'a Carogna (Genny the carcass), was issued a five-year 'Daspo' by police authorities in Rome, according to domestic news agency ANSA.

Another three-year ban was handed to fellow ultra Massimiliano Mantice, meaning both will be forbidden entry to sports venues for the duration of their respective bans, beginning with Tuesday's home game against Cagliari.

The bans come amid a furore caused by events at Rome's Olympic Stadium, where De Tommaso is alleged to have played a key role in having the Cup final delayed following reports, later confirmed, that several Napoli fans had been shot.

Confusion reigned and during a 45-minute delay the stadium was stunned when Napoli captain Marek Hamsik was ushered over to speak with De Tommaso as several high-ranking officials, including Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, looked on. Shortly afterwards a new kick-off time was scheduled.

However, the images of De Tommaso splashed over newspapers and television programmes have caused huge embarrassment and reignited the debate about how to deal with hooligan elements in the Italian game.

The son of an alleged Camorra mafia boss, Ciro De Tommaso, De Tommaso prompted further anger as he wore a T-shirt glorifying the death of a police officer in 2007.

Emblazoned with the words 'Speziale Libero' -- it called for the release of Catania fan Antonino Speziale, who was jailed for eight years for killing 40-year-old police officer Filippo Raciti with a block of concrete outside the Sicilian Derby with Palermo in February 2007.

Maurizio Gasparri, a vice-president of the Italian Senate, said: "In addition to whoever shot the victims, people like Genny 'a Carogna should be jailed immediately. They have made a mockery of the State."

A statement from Italy's national police trade union (SIAP) hit out: "It's incredible he was even allowed in to the game and even more surprising that nothing was done to remove him.

"We want to express our sympathy to (Raciti's widow) Marisa Grasso that, seven years later, we still have to live through this."

Grasso, in an interview with L'Espresso magazine on Sunday, said: "Last night I saw just how weak the vestiges of the State are. The State has lost."

Giovanni Malago, the president of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI), on Tuesday called for Italy to look to the tough, anti-hooligan laws introduced to Britain in the 1980s by former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

"Look at how Thatcher dealt with the hooligans. Full stop," said Malago. "This is how we have to deal with this. I'm not a lawmaker, but this is what we have to do."

Police on Sunday charged a 48-year-old man, Daniele De Santis, with attempted manslaughter after he is alleged to have shot three fans during altercations in the capital prior to the final.

Italian minister of the interior, Angelino Alfano, warned on Tuesday that any any fans seen wearing 'Speziale libero' t-shirts at Napoli's home game with Cagliari "will be picked out and punished with a Daspo."

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