The Serie A and B Championships have been suspended after the death of a policeman in the Catania riots.
FIGC President Luca Pancalli made the announcement this evening. “We will immediately set up a permanent round table commission to discuss the situation between sport and politics. It’s not possible to carry on like this. If this is football, then I’m stopping everything.”
The Sicilian derby, eventually won 2-1 by Palermo this evening, had been interrupted after 57 minutes due to crowd trouble when tear gas floated on to the pitch.
While play resumed and the final whistle sanctioned the Rosanero’s victory, the problems intensified outside the Stadio Massimino.
A large group of Catania supporters engaged in a full-scale riot with the police and one officer, 38-year-old Filippo Raciti, was killed when struck in the face by a homemade bomb.
“Football in Italy must stop and take stock. Enough is enough,” continued Pancalli. “I cannot find the words to describe a 38-year-old man who lost his life in such a way. This is not sport.
“All the football authorities I spoke to immediately agreed that we had to stop everything. Words aren’t enough any more. Right now I am astonished by what has happened and this is completely unacceptable.”
It’s now reported that hundreds of people have been rushed to the local hospital with injuries, although none are thought to be life threatening.
This tragic incident comes just a week after Ermanno Licursi, director of Calabrian amateur side Sanmartinese, was killed in a fight with opposition players after the final whistle of a Serie D game against Cancellese.
The Amateur League was suspended and this latest shameful scenario has pushed the FIGC to take similar action with Serie A, B, C and the Youth Championships.
The incidents will no doubt harm Italy's bid to host the 2012 European Championships.