Sun, Feb 04, 2007 - Page 24 News List

Serie A matches canceled indefinitely

DEADLY VIOLENCEItalian soccer authorities took drastic action following the death of a policeman during clashes between Catania and Palermo fans on Friday night

AFP , ROME

"Before then, nothing had happened, but they started causing trouble and, as the images show, threw tear gas on to the pitch," he added.

Ironically, Friday's match was preceded by a minute's silence in memory of the director of an amateur team who died the previous Saturday following crowd trouble at the end of a match against their local rivals.

Prodi warned that football in the country needed radical surgery if it was to stop the violence.

"My first thoughts are for the people affected by the violence and their families," said Prodi, who backed the decision by the Italian football authorities to call off matches.

"It is the right signal and is necessary to avoid the degeneration of the sport," he said.

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