Filippo Raciti – Italy land of hypocrites
Instead of posting new channels for the rich football Sunday, yesterday I took a day off because of what happened in Sicily during the last weekend. A police officer, Filippo Raciti, died following fights between police squads and Catania supporters. The match between Catania and Palermo was to be celebrated in Serie A after several years and the Sicilian derby is a really hot match but this doesn’t explain the death of a 38 years old man.
This article on BBC clarifies the events of last Friday and gives some hints over what the authorities are gonna do about the problem of violence in Italy.
It goes without saying that in such a country you need someone to die to start thinking about problems or social issues. It could also be considered a matter of luck not to have had more than one dead in this tragic football weekend. Now the Italian Football Association has stopped matches for undetermined time and they are to take, together with politics, extreme measures against this violent phenomenon. The thing is, is it football violence in Italy something new? Well. of course the answer is no. Just one week before Raciti’s death, an amateur football match was shocked by another man’s death, Ermanno Licursi, who was part of the managing board of a team from Italian southern region Calabria. He was killed in a fight on the pitch. The reaction to his death has been to force every following match to start with one minute of silence. A very useful minute of silence, given the fact that has been observed in Catania right before Filippo Raciti’s death. How many young Italian football supporters, not necessarily hooligans, have died in the past? How many people have had their lives ruined because of something happened at a football match? There was no need to come to this point, obviously.
And what do the authorities do? The last legislative act about football has been the infamous Pisanu law, supposed to reduce violence in Italian football and whose only effect has been to keep people away from the stadia (and therefore have them seated in front of tv…). The most important effect of this law on people has been preventing them from buying tickets on the day of the match, because their names have to be printed on the tickets and then checked at the entrance of the stadium. In this way, supposedly, and together with some hell of a CCTV system inside every stadium, authorities control every single person in the stadium, because to every ticket is assigned a seat, on every seat someone whose name and surname are known. But then why names on the tickets are never checked? And even more, if the minister would had studied the situation in Italian stadia he would have known that none actually takes a seat in the hottest areas of the stadia and, even less, respect their assigned spots. Italian laws on football are so strict that there is a lawyer, Lorenzo Contucci, who on his own website affirms that they might violate the constitution. And all Italian fans are gonna get is even stricter laws, which will possibly keep them away from live football matches even more than now. They talk about applying an “English model” over Italian football but Italians are not English and not every thing goes as it should in UK football.
Maybe they should instead wonder why on a Friday afternoon there are 100 people who attack a police squad. Maybe they should investigate on people social conditions in Italy, because violence is part of the society. Maybe they should take a look at the deaths in everyday life. But now poor Filippo Raciti is, unwillingly for him and his family, the star and the case will just bring more strictness, more prison and more violence. Because football is not violent, our society is, and even more in Southern Italy.
There should also be some focus on the Italian mysteries: this policeman died and in 3 different days 3 different reasons have been mentioned to have caused his death: a powerful explosive device on Saturday, a big stone on Sunday, a metal stick today, on Monday. None of the media stream has dedicated attention to this -only in Italian, sorry-
where the doctor, who is manager of the hospital responsible for the autopsy of the corpse, states that the inhalation of the tear gas CS has been the main factor in determining his death. The doctor also says that something else must have affected the heart of Raciti. Wikipedia states about the CS:
although described as a non-lethal weapon for crowd control, many studies have raised doubts about this classification. As well as creating severe pulmonary damage, CS can also significantly damage the heart and liver.
Was it “friendly fire”?