Italian Soccer Fans to Carry Identity Cards to Attend Serie A Matches

June 23, 2011

Fans of clubs from Italy’s top soccer league, Serie A, will be required to carry a supporter identity card to buy home season tickets and follow their team away next season, the Italian government has announced.

The card, to be known as the ‘tessera per il tifoso’, is to be introduced as a measure to clamp down on hooliganism.

Although some casual supporters can still buy tickets for one-off matches without carrying a card, most supporters will need them. Italian Minister of the Interior, Roberto Maroni, states that the cards will help to establish a more welcoming atmosphere at stadia, but has also spoken of the need to remove terrace fences from stadia.

According to Reuters, Maroni said: “Before the end of next season we want to take away all the fences and other barriers that box in fans. Stadia should be places for celebration and not where you get hit. We want to bring true supporters together, those that support their team and not the ones who come to football to smash in the heads of opposing fans.”

Italian Football Federation president Giancarlo Abete outlined the wider structural upgrades required at stadia in the country. “We need more functional stadia and a new rapport with fans,” he said. “Now we need a concerted effort to overcome any negative perceptions about the supporters’ card. It will be both efficient and functional.”

Further plans for Italian stadia include the construction of new ‘club-owned’ stadia, but the proposal has been held up as a measure in the Italian parliament. “We just need to make sure the bill does not interfere with TV rights,” said Abete. “When it is eventually passed, it will be a significant act for Italian football. Italy’s football future must involve rebuilding stadia.”