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Football. Banner with the writing “Varriale Pig” during Juventus vs Cagliari

The banner was displayed during the match in Turin: the stadium whistles and the hooligans take it away. The author has been identified and denounced. Solidarity to the journalist

“Varriale Pig”: this is the banner displayed at the stadium in Turin on Sunday, May 18th, against the sports journalist Mr Enrico Varriale of Rai. The writing had appeared during the second half of Juventus-Cagliari along with the words “free Speziale”. The audience reacted immediately, booing the hooligans and forcing them to withdraw the banner. The Digos police identified and denounced the authors of the act.

Mr Enrico Varriale was the promoter of an anti-violence initiative urging fans to wear a t-shirt saying “we are all Raciti” during the course of the match Napoli-Catania so as to honor Filippo Raciti (the policeman killed in 2007 during clashes between the police and hooligans outside the stadium in Catania, and for which Antonio Speziale stands accused). The extreme fringes of the hooligan base of Juventus did not like the call by Mr Varriale and exposed the banner against the journalist: an insult anticipated earlier on Twitter with the hashtag #varrialemaiale.

At the end of the game, the author of the act was stopped and accused, while a DASPO had already been requested against him (i.e. a ban from the participation at sporting events).

“Trying to smudge the party of Juve’s championship is an act of extraordinary imbecility”, Mr Varriale said. There have been numerous statements of solidarity to the journalist. “May the teams distance themselves from the violent fringes of the hooligans”, the Unione Sportiva ACLI has asked. The newsroom of RaiSport and UsigRai condemn the perpetrators “of writing offensive and defamatory” statements, while the direction of RaiSport urges prevention and vigilance “so as to avoid that the work of journalists is denigrated and placed under attack”.

GM

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