Soccer is a national obsession in Italy. There are many examples which together have the power to erase all doubt about it. First off – the Soccer Oscar Night, which took place in Milano on 19th January 2009. Organized by Assocalciatori, the event aimed to reward the best players in Italian soccer. Ibrahimovic and Del Piero, two beloved players, triumphed over all other candidates.
The Soccer Oscar Night is part of a greater initiative to celebrate this sport in the Bel Paese. The passion for soccer spans all Italian regions, from North to South, and shows itself and its craft through the jubilation of millions of Italians, young and old. The most popular games in Italy relate to soccer, and more and more young people (both male and female) have begun playing soccer with passion and commitment. In the smallest towns little soccer associations have formed, which help hundreds of teenagers work their way up.
This passion rises to the surface each week-end in the stadium among the fans. Who has already forgotten the pictures of the Italian migrants in Germany and all around the world during the last World Cup? Those migrants discovered again the sense of belonging to Italy and to its culture.
Unfortunately such a passion also begets many problems and accidents, which have been happening more frequently in the last few years during many matches in Italy. The fans don’t control their disenchantment, concern & fury – causing even some fatal accidents. For that reason the Italian government started acting upon the situation with cautionary measures. In 2008 the entrance in stadiums and some away matches were forbidden to some supporters. This measure aimed to contain the violence of the fanatic fringe of soccer supporters that in the last years caused extensive damage, injuries or even the death of some fellow fans.
The initiative presented at the beginning of this article and the measures taken by the Italian police are trying to protect the real soccer lovers and the most basic principles of the sport. We should all hope that the fans, in cooperation with police, will be able to contain the violent episodes in stadiums, as an Italian soccer supporter did in the video below.