According to Sport Business, the Italian government has announced that fans in Serie A will need to carry a supporter identity card to buy home season tickets and follow their team away next season.
The card, to be known as the ‘tessera per il tifoso’, is to be introduced as a measure to clamp down on hooliganism. The concept initially sparked protests from supporters groups after being conceived in the wake of a series of violent incidents at Serie A matches in 2007, when a policeman was killed after a Sicilian derby and a Lazio fan was shot dead.
Although some casual supporters can still buy tickets for one-off matches without carrying a card, most supporters will need them. According to Italian Minister of the Interior Roberto Maroni, the cards will help to establish a more welcoming atmosphere at stadia. However, he has also spoken of the need to remove terrace fences from the venues.
“Before the end of next season we want to take away all the fences and other barriers that box in fans,” he said after a meeting with football officials, according to Reuters. “Stadia should be places for celebration and not where you get hit. We want to bring true supporters together, those that support their team and not the ones who come to football to smash in the heads of opposing fans.”
Italian Football Federation president Giancarlo Abete outlined the wider structural upgrades required at stadia in the country. “We need more functional stadia and a new rapport with fans,” he said. “Now we need a concerted effort to overcome any negative perceptions about the supporters’ card. It will be both efficient and functional.”
The next step, which will see the construction of new ‘club-owned’ stadia, has been held up as a measure in the Italian parliament. “We just need to make sure the bill does not interfere with TV rights,” said Abete. “When it is eventually passed, it will be a significant act for Italian football. Italy’s football future must involve rebuilding stadia.” [Source: Sport Business]
Will this contribute to decrease violence in Italian Football? Yes if these efforts are followed up by heavy sanctions to violent and in extenso racist supporters. However, it has to be a concerted efforts with local and national authorities otherwise it will be “pissing in a violin”.