My Enemy’s Enemy…
…is not my friend in this case.
Man U lost 2-1 to Roma away last night. It’s probably not that bad a result for them, although I couldn’t care less if they get through or not.
The United fans reacted to the Roma fans’ provocation after the first goal and charged a divide. They wouldn’t have got through anyway, but the Italian police waded into the crowd and starting beating the shit out of the United fans.
Don’t me wrong, seeing United get battered is always hilarious – on the field. But the Italian police are pigs. There is a difference between protecting people and property and setting out to cause violence and hurt to as many people as possible.
Let’s face it, Italian football is a disgrace. A few weeks ago a police officer was killed at a game. The violence between fans and police happens all too often. How many times have things been thrown from the crowd? A referee was struck with a lighter in the Champions League two seasons ago. Three seasons ago when Milan and Inter played each other in the knockout stages, Inter fans through flares onto the pitch. It just goes on and on.
What gets done about it? Next to nothing. Because the football associations are gutless clueless cowards who sit around sipping champagne in business meetings all day, patting each other on their French/German/Italian/Spanish arses, and deciding how to change the offside rule next season.
Grass-roots football; the awful standard of refereeing; crowd trouble; persistent re-offending clubs; changes to the games/rules that will actually help; cheating; time-wasting?
If English clubs caused as much trouble as Italian ones, they’d be banned from Europe. Again. But no; the European clubs will keep getting away with having dirty cheating players and hooligans for fans. And UEFA will do nothing about it.
I’m not say the United fans were innocent.
New UEFA president Michel Platini last week called for a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to football-related violence.
What exactly does that even mean? Zero-tolerance?? Who decides how that should be enforced, and what is acceptable? Sounds very dictatorial to me. So the UEFA President is suggesting how football fans should be treated by the law?
This, whilst William Gallard, UEFA director of communications said: “But we cannot tell the Italian authorities, or indeed those of any other country, how to apply law and order.”
Well, Billy, apparently your boss disagrees.
There is a difference between quelling a disturbance and looking to inflict violence. People will fight back if they feel provoked, aggrieved, or backed into a corner. But attacking people with nowhere to go and hitting them again and again as they lay on the floor; what honestly did the police expect? Most United fans ran off as the police chased them. Isn’t that enough? You ask any professional policeman in a riot – wouldn’t he prefer to meet a riot gang that ran off and backed down each time there was a confrontation? Of course!
Not these Italian police obviously – oh no. Apparently, zero-tolerance doesn’t just mean forcing the offenders to back down. It means revenge. Track them down and beat them until they bleed! That’ll teach them! That’s what every police officer signs up for when they join the service isn’t it? Beating civilians as they lay on the ground? “Protect and serve”. Hmmm.