Thursday, March 12, 2009

Rome: Come for the Stabbings, Stay for the Football

Question: What's the difference between a stabbing and a 'stabbing'?

No, that's not rhetorical and this isn't a riddle (and yes, I know the pic has little nothing to do with the post).

According to Sky Sports an Arsenal fan was "stabbed" on the way to the Roma match yesterday. The good news is that, after receiving medical attention, the fan was able to watch the game.

But the events leading up to the stabbing are a bit bizarre as the fan was on a private coach that was attacked:

The minibus in which the fan was travelling is understood to have lost its way en route to the Stadio Olimpico for the second leg encounter. Roma fans started to attack the vehicle before one is alleged to have got on to the bus when the situation escalated.
The gratuitous quotes for "stabbing" might result from a British Embassy spokesperson who said they were uncertain whether there was indeed a stabbing or the injury was merely the result of glass from a shattered window as Roma fans threw rocks at the vehicle.

Okay, we joke. And about almost everything. In fact, if the stabbing involved Cheryl and Ashley Cole, we'd find no end of amusement in it (assuming of course it was the former who stabbed the latter). Not that domestic violence is funny, but Ashley Cole is a twat.

Fans stabbing fans, eh. That's a little less funny, particularly in light of two things. First were the recent attacks on Sri Lankan cricketers in Pakistan. In fact, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger raised concerns about the safety of his team vis a vis such an attack. Additionally, as one pointed out by one UF'er, the Champions League final will be held in Rome this year.

This isn't the first time that Roma Ultras have taken to stabbing British opposition. In '06 three 'Boro fans we knifed before a EUFA Cup quarter. The following year ago, several ManU fans were stabbed near the Stadio Olympico.

And yesterday's incident is on the heels of (unrelated) of two Chelsea fans being stabbed in Turin before Tuesday's return leg against Juventus. Now, this is almost funny because the Spartak London supporters were stabbed in the ass.

There's no chance of the final being moved (even after yesterday's incident). Still, shouldn't fan safety be a greater immediate concern for Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini than how many foreign players are in the Arsenal squad? Especially because there's a history of it in the city where you are holding your sport's marquee non-International event?


Spectator said...

Blatter and Platini are too busy circlejerking each other over the 5+4 rule (I know, crude but effective).

History has shown that if UEFA/FIFA was really serious about cracking down on violence the answer is simply to impose very severe sanctions -- this would put the onus on Italian authorities, teams and supporters to knock it off. Instead, just half-measures and now -- surprise, surprise -- the violence continues, and the suggestion that maybe Rome shouldn't be rewarded with a CL final is laughed off as unworkable.

Granted we get few things right here, but this is one area that Europe is decades behind the United States. Put it this way, David Stern wouldn't be putting up with this crap.

Mike Georger said...

Last time I was in Rome a Gypsy tried to pick my pocket on a bus, sadly for her I caught her and crushed her hand.
/my little story

The Fan's Attic said...

My mother attacked a Gypsy girl in Rome who was trying to steal her purse. I laugh every time I think about my mother grabbing some 7 year old by the shoulders who was trying to cut the purse straps while she was at a sink in a restroom.

30f said...

I heard that the Roma Ultras like to 'stab' their victims in the ass. * Insert Gay Joke *

Seriously, by ass-stabbing the Ultra gets all the 'fun' of stabbing, the victim receives pain and humiliation and there is very little risk of death or serious criminal repercussions for the Ultra.

Not that I have ever been stabbed in the ass in Rome. Except for that gypsy ...