Update: Inter Milan will play two home Serie A games behind closed doors following the alleged racist abuse directed towards Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly, the Italian Football Federation has announced.
An ill-tempered match between Inter and Napoli on Wednesday saw Senegal defender Koulibaly complain of racist abuse from the home crowd, while there were violent scenes outside the stadium as one fan died following a collision with a van.
Four others were injured in separate incidents and the FIGC has responded by ordering Inter to play two games behind closed doors, while the Nerazzurri will be forced to play a third game without the section of their San Siro home generally filled with the hardcore ‘ultras’.
Inter’s next three home league games are against Sassuolo on January 19, Bologna on February 3 and Sampdoria on February 17.
The rest of the Serie A games will still go ahead, however, FIGC president Gabriele Gravina has confirmed.
Gravina told Sky Sports Italia: “The championship will not stop…We do not stop against those who want to contaminate our world.”
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Gravina described what happened at the Inter-Napoli game as “no longer tolerable”, adding in a statement on the FIGC website that the governing body condemns “all forms of both physical and verbal violence, with the aggravating circumstance of racial discrimination. We do not tolerate such behaviour ruining football.”
Deputy Italian Prime Minister Matteo Salvini said he would call an emergency meeting in the new year and wrote on Twitter: “In 2018 you can not die for a football match.
“At the beginning of the year I will convene the leaders of supporters of Serie A and B clubs… so that the stadiums and the surrounding area will once again become a place of fun and not of violence.”
Earlier: Inter Milan fan dies after clashes with Napoli supporters
An Inter Milan fan has died following clashes with Napoli supporters outside San Siro Stadium ahead of a Serie A football match which was also marred by racist chants.
Milan police chief Marcello Cardona said investigators believe the 35-year-old fan, Daniele Belardinelli, may have been fatally struck by a van or SUV during the clashes on Wednesday.
Four Napoli fans were injured and at least three people were arrested.
Italy’s interior minister Matteo Salvini said: “You can’t die from going to the stadium to see a soccer match.”
Mr Salvini added that he would gather club and fan representatives from all Serie A and B teams for a meeting to make sure “football returns to being a moment of fun, and not violence”.
He added: “We’ll see if we can do what others weren’t able to.”
Mr Cardona said he will request that Inter fans be banned from travelling to away games for the rest of the season and that the northern end of the San Siro, where Inter’s “ultra” fans are based, should be closed until March 31.
Inter won the game 1-0 (AP)
Inter won the match 1-0.
The game was also marred by racist chants which targeted Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly.
The Senegal international, who had monkey noises directed at him throughout the match, received two yellow cards in quick succession, the second for sarcastically applauding the referee after being shown the first.
After the game, Napoli coach Carlo Ancelotti threatened to lead his team off the field the next time one of his players is subjected to continued racist abuse.
Mr Ancelotti asked several times for the match against Inter to be halted. Announcements warning fans this would happen were made, but no further action was taken.
Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly (AP)
It is the first time Serie A matches have taken place on St Stephen’s Day since 1971.
Italian football federation president Gabriele Gravina said the incidents that occurred inside and outside the stadium were “no longer tolerable” and that he intends to simplify the rules for suspending matches.
It is not the first time that clashes between rival fans have led to deaths in Italy.
Napoli supporter Ciro Esposito died 50 days after he was shot by a Roma supporter before the 2014 Italian Cup final.
That incident came before a match that Roma was not even involved in – although Napoli’s 3-1 win over Fiorentina was held in Rome.
Also, police officer Filippo Raciti was killed during riots following a Sicilian derby between Catania and Palermo in 2007.