Italy calls for crackdown on football hooligans

Three shootings before cup final in Rome

Italy's interior minister Angelino Alfano has threatened tougher measures for soccer hooligans in the wake of the violence that marred the weekend's Italian Cup Final at Rome's Stadio Olimpico.

Italy is now considering issuing offenders with lifetime bans from stadiums, following the violent scenes around the eagerly-awaited Napoli-Fiorentina final on the evening of 3 May.

The pre-match clashes in the Tor di Quinto district near the stadium allegedly began after Napoli's hardcore "ultra" fans were insulted by a well-known Roma “ultra” who then shot and wounded three of them, one of them critically.

Subsequently the match was delayed amid ugly scenes, during which the Napoli team captain Marek Hamsik apparently negotiated with the Napoli ultra leader Gennaro De Tommaso who eventually seemed to give the authorisation to let the game begin.

Authorities have since played down the discussion between Hamsik and De Tommaso, saying that no authorisation was sought from the ultras and that there was never any suggestion the game risked being called off.

Commentators and politicians have described the “shameful” spectacle, which took place in front of the country's premier Matteo Renzi as well as some nine million television viewers, as being reflective of the decline of Italian soccer and the failure of football adminstrators to deal effectively with hooligans.

Napoli won the match 3-1.