Friday 20 September 2019

Inter Milan fan dies after clashes with Napoli supporters

Soccer Football - Serie A - Inter Milan v Napoli - San Siro, Milan, Italy - December 26, 2018 Inter Milan's Lautaro Martinez celebrates after the match with team mates REUTERS/Alberto Lingria
Soccer Football - Serie A - Inter Milan v Napoli - San Siro, Milan, Italy - December 26, 2018 Inter Milan's Lautaro Martinez celebrates after the match with team mates REUTERS/Alberto Lingria
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

An Inter Milan fan has died following clashes with Napoli supporters outside San Siro Stadium ahead of a Serie A football match which was also marred by racist chants.

Milan police chief Marcello Cardona said investigators believe the 35-year-old fan, Daniele Belardinelli, may have been fatally struck by a van or SUV during the clashes on Wednesday.

Four Napoli fans were injured and at least three people were arrested.

Italy's interior minister Matteo Salvini said: "You can't die from going to the stadium to see a soccer match."

Mr Salvini added that he would gather club and fan representatives from all Serie A and B teams for a meeting to make sure "football returns to being a moment of fun, and not violence".

He added: "We'll see if we can do what others weren't able to."

Mr Cardona said he will request that Inter fans be banned from travelling to away games for the rest of the season and that the northern end of the San Siro, where Inter's "ultra" fans are based, should be closed until March 31.

Inter won the match 1-0.

The game was also marred by racist chants which targeted Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly.

The Senegal international, who had monkey noises directed at him throughout the match, received two yellow cards in quick succession, the second for sarcastically applauding the referee after being shown the first.

After the game, Napoli coach Carlo Ancelotti threatened to lead his team off the field the next time one of his players is subjected to continued racist abuse.

Mr Ancelotti asked several times for the match against Inter to be halted. Announcements warning fans this would happen were made, but no further action was taken.

It is the first time Serie A matches have taken place on December 26 since 1971.

Italian football federation president Gabriele Gravina said the incidents that occurred inside and outside the stadium were "no longer tolerable" and that he intends to simplify the rules for suspending matches.

It is not the first time that clashes between rival fans have led to deaths in Italy.

Napoli supporter Ciro Esposito died 50 days after he was shot by a Roma supporter before the 2014 Italian Cup final.

That incident came before a match that Roma was not even involved in - although Napoli's 3-1 win over Fiorentina was held in Rome.

Also, police officer Filippo Raciti was killed during riots following a Sicilian derby between Catania and Palermo in 2007.

PA Media

The Left Wing: Ireland's fullback dilemma, World Cup bonding and the squad standby list

Also in Sport