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Soccer hooligans force Italy on defensive

Season ticket holders must now undergo police background checks.

“With the World Cup in 1990, the government could have introduced the most modern security systems inside Italian stadiums, but we missed that opportunity,” said Marco Sindici, a soccer fan from Rome who prefers to watch A.S. Roma from his living room couch. “And now we have big, state-owned stadiums that cost a lot, are old and hard to control.” 

Also, fans point out, the Soccer Fan Card was adopted to contain violence inside soccer stadiums but won’t guarantee law and order on the streets outside the stadiums, at train stations, or parking lots where rival Ultras often seek confrontation.

“With these premises, they have created the right climate for bad things to happen,” said Innocenzi, who quit the Ultras club “Boys,” two years ago. “I’m sure this is a battle bound to last all year long.”