Juventus is cruising to the Serie A title and Torino is comfortably mid-table, so it wasn’t like there was a lot riding on Sunday’s Turin derby other than local pride. Tell that to the deranged ultras who attacked the Juve bus and threw missiles including a bomb — a bomb! — inside the stadium.
“Crowd trouble” is a euphemism that doesn’t really do what happened justice. “Rioting” and “urban warfare” are closer to the truth. Speaking of truth, Juventus manager Max Allegri said that “only a madman” would take his children to a game in Italy given the risk of violence in stadiums.
And he’s right, of course.
Before the match, according to reports, 300 Torino fans broke a window in the Juventus team bus as it approached the Stadio Olimpico. During the game, what Reuters termed a “paper bomb” was thrown from the Juventus end in response to objects such as eggs and bottles that were hurled by Torino’s supporters. Nine people were injured, several of them hospitalized.
This comes in the wake of Roma serving a partial stadium ban for fans displaying banners mocking the mother of a Napoli fan who was killed in fan violence last year, and black players in Milan’s under-10 team apparently being racially abused during an international tournament.
“I’m sorry [about what happened]. On the pitch we had a match that was fair, manly and compelling,” Allegri said. (Torino won, 2-1, their first derby victory for 20 years.)
“This ought to be important to everyone involved in sports. Unfortunately in Italy we are still behind, and until the responsible parties start to take measures this is how it will be. That goes for football but also the country as a whole. We need to improve to bring people back to the stadium and kids first of all, given that only a madman would bring them along with everything that happens today.”
Italy knows it has a problem; has known for a while. Seems like it’s very far from solving it, though.