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“Signore Capo, may we play now?”

May 5, 2014

“Signore Capo, may we play now?”

Things sure are different in Italy. Before a big game in Rome between Napoli (Naples) and Florence attended by the Italian Prime Minister, a Roman fan shot a Napoli supporter in a violent confrontation. The Roma guy owned a small stand and was confronted by several angry Naples “ultras”, and shot one of them.

Major chaos ensued. The Napoli ultra gangsters almost rioted, throwing fireworks and bottles onto the pitch, preventing play. What would the authorities at an NFL game do? The police would call out a major situation and the authorities would respond with dogs, tear gas, helicopters, massive riot police, and possibly live ammo. I was at a low rider show that turned into a bloody riot, with many injured. That is exactly how the cops responded.

In Italy, the police and the captain of the Napoli soccer team approached the leader of the ultras. He is, by the way, the son of a reputed Camorra (Naples Mafia) boss.  They reassured him the man who had shot his friend would be prosecuted to the full extent of the law and that the victim was fine. They asked if he could please let the game go on. He gave permission.

This is all on live Italian TV, by the way. Follow the links in the article if you want to see it yourself. The article emphasizes the cowardly response of the authorities in the face of an openly violent challenge. Even though this goes against everything we feel in America, it is the smarter way. In our country, this would have been blown up into a major incident with many people, killed, injured, and arrested. In Italy? “Play ball!”

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