Fury over attack on Juventus team bus

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The Independent Online
Sergio Campana, the head of the Italian players' union, has called for British-style policing at Italy's grounds in the wake of Sunday's attack on the Juventus team bus.

Windows were shattered and glass fragments sprayed over players and officials in the attack by a group of Fiorentina fans, who ambushed the bus on its way to the stadium in Florence.

No one was injured, but the attack caused outrage among leading figures in Italian football and was be discussed yesterday at a meeting of Campana's union in Rome. Campana is particularly angry that none of the stone-throwers have been caught by the police.

"What I can't understand, and much less tolerate, is the fact that an offence committed by an individual goes punished but when it's a group of football fans, then impunity becomes the rule," he said.

"This tolerance of gang behaviour is becoming dangerous," he warned, adding that Italy needed to learn from Britain's example when it comes to crowd control. "In England, if a fan throws something on to the pitch, he soon finds himself in handcuffs and the following day he's in court.

"Here in Italy, people have been turning a blind eye to things for too long."

Sunday's incidents, which included scuffles involving police and fans, followed missile-throwing earlier this month at Reggiana's match against Parma.

"It's not enough for the referee to pick the objects up and give them to the fourth match official as if nothing had happened," Campana said.

The Fiorentina president, Vittorio Cecchi Gori, described the youths who carried out Sunday's attack as "delinquents, like those who kill people by dropping stones from motorway bridges", a recent phenomenon in Italy.

Cecchi Gori added that he had offered to go in front of the Juventus team bus next season.

"But these sort of people would still throw stones," he said. "They are not Fiorentina fans and they don't even deserve to be talked about."

The Juventus coach, Marcello Lippi, aware of the intense rivalry between Fiorentina and Juventus fans, said: "This match is always accompanied by tension, and in this case by an ugly episode. But on the pitch, the players showed their concentration and their professionalism."

Fiorentina may be punished for what happened, with the club possibly being told to play a home match away from their own ground.