Genoa to play final home games behind closed doors
Published : 24 Apr 2012 09:47:02
Genoa have been ordered to play their final home games of the season behind closed doors after rioting fans stopped Sunday's match against Siena to make players remove their jerseys.
Lega Calcio ruled that fans will not be allowed to attend Genoa's upcoming games against Cagliari and Palermo after they held up Sunday's match for 45 minutes.
The football authority also banned 11 fans from attending further matches, and said more penalties would follow once an enquiry had been completed.
Genoa, one place above the relegation zone, were losing 4-0 when around 300 of the team's hardcore "ultra" fans forced the players to strip off their shirts after chanting that they weren't doing the jersey justice.
The referee was forced to stop play as smoke bombs were hurled onto the pitch and some fans scaled barriers and ran onto the pitch.
Many players removed their shirts and handed them to captain Marco Rossi, though striker Giuseppe Sculli refused.
Rossi had appealed for calm as many home supporters left the stadium in disgust at their team's performance. Many of those that stayed turned their back on the game after the referee finally restarted play.
The ugly scenes which halted the match early in the second half brought condemnation from throughout the game. Italian Football Federation chief Giancarlo Abete said he was outraged by scenes of "unacceptable violence".
Genoa's president Enrico Preziosi said only "60 to 100" fans were responsible for the violence, though he admitted he was disturbed by the amount of power they wielded.
Siena coach Giuseppe Sannino was left dumbstruck: "When we went back out onto the pitch to restart the match I told my players this is no longer football."