If you were expecting another rundown of Morimoto leading Catania to another stunning result with late game results, this column will disappoint you. I'm sorry. Actually Morimoto didn't get in the game. And Catania lost to 3rd place Palermo on a disputed goal late in the game. But that's not the story either.
In about the 60th minute of the Friday affair, Catania and Palermo fans clashed outside of the stadium. The tear gas emanating from the outer grounds was so bad that the game had to be stopped. Players were rinsing their eyes out with water because of a burning sensation that assaulted them with every breath.
Outside, a police officer in a car was killed when a homemade explosive device was thrown and detonated inside his car. Another officer is currently fighting for his life.
It would be easy to characterize this as just an Italian problem, lord knows that the federation has done itself no favors with scandals involving match fixing and a cynical campaign that led to World Cup victory but won no worldwide fans. Now, a franchise that just one week ago was being hailed as a heartwarming story starring a young Japanese man who makes good is now starting to symbolize yet another case of why the world is going to hell.
Unfortunately, this violence is not unique to Italy alone
Feyenoord was kicked out of the UEFA cup for fan violence in a blowout loss to France side Nancy
Deportivo Moron in Argentina had their fans banned after their players were attacked by team supporters
A member of an ultra-right faction of Paris Saint Germain supporters was killed when a police officer shot and killed one of the attacking onrushers after the group, chanting racist and anti-semitic slurs, tried to chase and attack a supporter of Israels Happoel Tel Aviv
20 people died and 100 were injured when police officers in Ghana locked in rioting Kumani Ashanti Kotoko fans after they lost to rival Accra Hearts.
That was 2 minutes of google searching.
I'm glad that it doesn't really happen here......you get a story of an idiot throwing a bottle cap at an opposing coach or fans getting a bit too animated after an awful call. But you have to wonder, when is it gonna blow up here? What's gonna be the first spark that pushes people to do something stupid?
Italian officials acted quickly after the incident, cancelling games for the weekend and National team games during the week, debating when and if they will start up again. Good for them. I imagine stopping violence is like trying to stop waves from destroying sand castles at the beach.......eventually the tide hits and you're left with nothing but but crumbling dirt and wated effort.
Such a beautiful game...............why does it draw such an ugly element?