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Last Updated: Monday, 22 September, 2003, 16:42 GMT 17:42 UK
Italy soccer brawl turns to tragedy
Crowd trouble at Avellino match
Dozens of police were injured in the violence
An Italian football fan injured during crowd trouble at a match on Saturday has died.

Sergio Ercolano, 20, fell off a wall while trying to enter the ground of the southern Serie B team Avellino without a ticket for the match against Napoli.

Dozens of police were injured in the ensuing violence, with Napoli fans reportedly angered by a failure of officers to come quickly to Ercolano's aid.

The incident prompted Interior Minister Guiseppe Pisanu to call an emergency meeting with the country's football authorities to discuss match security.

Stop it otherwise football will rot
Francesco Totti
Italian international
"I hope that the disciplinary committees of the sport's authorities are able to show adequate severity to all those who, directly or indirectly, are found to have responsibility for the barbarity carried out in Avellino," he said.

Officials have been studying video footage of the incident, which led to the match being abandoned.

One policeman was said to have been stabbed in the leg and a senior officer collapsed after being hit.

'Should be fun'

Reuters news agency reported that a 21-year-old Napoli fan had been arrested.

Torino fans clash with police
The violence was reminiscent of Torino matches last season
Italian international Francesco Totti said the death was "terrible news" for football.

"Football should be fun... instead we see scenes like the ones at Avellino which make me feel like giving up football altogether."

"I don't know if my appeal will make a difference, but I want to do it: Stop it otherwise football will rot."

A number of violent incidents have affected Italian football in recent years.

Last season, matches involving Serie A teams Como and Torino had to be abandoned because of crowd trouble.


SEE ALSO:
Italian football crisis recedes
29 Aug 03  |  Europe
Italy to kick off by decree
20 Aug 03  |  Europe
Serie A season delayed
20 Aug 02  |  Europe
Torino handed ban
25 Feb 03  |  Europe


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