Get your kit off! Genoa match stopped as ultras demand players remove shirts
17:51 GMT, 22 April 2012
There were bizarre scenes at Genoa's Stadio Luigi Ferraris on Sunday as furious fans threw fireworks onto the pitch and demanded the home side's players take their shirts off – resulting in play being stopped for 45 minutes.
Relegation-threatened Genoa were losing
4-0 at home to modest Siena when the unprecedented incident happened
early in the second half.
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Hotting up: Genoa fans protest against their side's abject display as captain Marco Rossi collects his team's shirts
The referee stopped play as smoke bombs and firecrackers were hurled onto the pitch by a small contingent of hardcore Genoa 'ultra' fans, some of whom then climbed over the perspex barriers separating them from the field.
The fans, some of them hooded, demanded the players remove their shirts after chanting they were not worthy of wearing them.
Suspended: The referee stopped play for 45 minutes
While Siena retired to their dressing room, most Genoa players handed their shirts to captain Marco Rossi although striker Giuseppe Sculli refused and began negotiating with the supporters.
'This violence is unacceptable,' Italian football federation (FIGC) president Giancarlo Abete said on television.
Refusal: Sculli talks to fans after refusing to remove his shirt
'Those are not fans. Sculli did the right thing by not taking his shirt off. I hope these people are identified and condemned. They should not be allowed into the stadium ever again.'
Genoa pulled a goal back after play resumed and the match ended 4-1.
Genoa, who had hoped to mount a
challenge for the Europa League spots at least this term, are 17th in
Serie A only one position and one point clear of Lecce in the relegation
zone with five games left.
club's leadership appeared to lose its way this season when Alberto
Malesani was sacked in late December and replaced by Pasquale Marino,
who was himself fired before Malesani was reappointed at the start of
Italian football has shown both sides of
its character this week with the game coming together following the
death of Livorno's Piermario Morosini before more sordid match-fixing
allegations and the Genoa farce sullied its image.