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Last Updated: Monday, 5 February 2007, 19:53 GMT
Italian fans face stadium lockout
Palermo players try to get away from the tear gas during their game with Catania
Palermo's players try to get away from the tear gas
Italian authorities will decide on Wednesday whether to play the country's football matches behind closed doors.

The Italian interior minister, Giuliano Amato, said on Monday that stadia which do not meet security standards will not be allowed to admit fans.

The move follows the cancellation of weekend football after a policemen was killed during clashes between fans.

"We will not allow fans to go into a stadium that does not respect the current safety norms," said Amato.

"In stadia like that of Catania (where policeman Filippo Raciti was killed by rioting fans) I will not admit anyone, I am firm on this. That game shouldn't have been played.

"Hence, only those stadia that meet the security norms will reopen to the fans, the other stadia will be used to play in but without fans until they meet guidelines.

"Our current norms are efficient if followed."

According to reports in Italy, only four of the country's stadia meet the criteria required to open them to fans.

The Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) met the government on Monday to decide when Italian football could resume.

The funeral of Raciti, 38, who died when a bomb was thrown into his car, took place in Catania.

CONI met on Sunday to discuss ways to solve the crisis and urged clubs to break off relations with violent fans.

Other proposals included forcing clubs to adopt stricter anti-hooligan measures by the start of next season.

CONI president Gianni Petrucci said that if clubs did not agree to the new guidelines - which would see more controls imposed on tickets and an increase in use of closed circuit cameras - they would not be able to host games.

The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) and Italy's minister of sport Giovanna Melandri were also at Monday's meeting.

Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi has already promised "robust" measures to curb the violence.

Prodi called for "a remedy that makes clubs feel responsible (for fans) and radically changes the situation".

The new Uefa chairman, Michel Platini, backed the decision to halt football in Italy.

He said the violence had deepened concern about hooliganism in football.

Platini compared it to recent incidents involving French and Dutch fans, and said everyone involved in football must work together to eradicate violence from the game.

"We must now work together with the Italian football authorities and politicians in support of the Italian game, and find a solution to this spiral of violence that is plaguing European football," he said.

Raciti's death has prompted outrage from Italian politicians and the suspension of all amateur and professional games - including Wednesday's friendly against Romania - by the FIGC.

The head of the Italian Footballers' Association, Sergio Campana, called for the leagues to be halted for at least a year.

Italian league halted by violence
02 Feb 07 |  Football


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