The Gentleman Ultra

Posts tagged Catania

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Seeing Red seems to help Perugia

SERIE B  

Results

Bari 0-2 Perugia

Bologna 1-1 Virtus Entella

Brescia 0-1 Livorno

Carpi 4-2 Varese

Cittadella 3-1 Avellino

Latina 1-0 Crotone

Pro Vercelli 3-2 Catania

Spezia 2-1 Frosinone

Ternana 1-1 Pescara

Trapani 2-1 Vicenza

Virtus Lanciano 2-0 Modena

We may only be two games into the new season but the table already has an unfamiliar look to it.  The two automatic promotion places are occupied by Perugia and Carpi, who were involved in the Game of the Day in Serie B.

Carpi ran out 4-2 winners against Varese after twice coming from behind in the game.  Varese took a 11th minute lead through an excellent individual goal from Bruno Petkovic.  Jerry Mbakogu quickly equalised from the penalty spot, but it was Varese who lead at the break through Brazilian Leonidas.  But 3 goals in a ten minute period in the 2nd half through Poli, Gagliolo and Lollo sealed the victory.

Carpi 4-2 Varese http://www.footytube.com/video/carpi-1909-as-varese-1910-sep07-294746

Perugia had a fantastic victory away at promotion hopefuls Bari.  Goals either side of half time by Falcinelli and Del Prete were enough for victory to maintain their 100% start to the season.  Bari finished the game with nine men after Defendi was sent off for two yellows and Caputo was given a straight red for a stray elbow.  That makes it four players sent off in two games against Perugia so far this season.  Bologna also had two men sent off last week.

Bari 0-2 Perugia http://eurorivals.net/bari~perugia-highlights-video-07-09-2014

It is also been a solid start to the season for Virtus Lanciano.  The team from Abruzzo beat Modena 2-0.  A goal in each half from Gatto and Thiam was enough to see them home.  Lanciano started well last season also, being undefeated until October.  They couldn’t keep up the same form throughout the season and finished 18th.

Virtus Lanciano 2-0 Modena http://www.footytube.com/video/ss-virtus-lanciano-1924-modena-sep07-294754

Elsewhere in the division Livorno got of the mark with a  1-0 victory away at Brescia, courtesy of a Damjan Đoković goal.  Cittadella ran out 3-1 winners against Avellino and their were wins for Latina, Pro Vercelli (3-2 victors over Catania) Spezia and Trapani.

In the division’s other games Bologna’s slow start to the season continued as they were held at home by Virtus Entella.  Daniele Cacia sparing the home sides blushes.  In the final game Ternana and Pescara played out a one all draw.

You can see the highlights from all the other games in Serie B here http://www.footytube.com/leagues/italy/serie-b

By Ian Such @insearchofluca

Filed under perugia bari catania bologna serie b virtus entella brescia livorno

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Who Will Win the Battle for Italian Top Flight Safety?

As the title race in Italy is virtually over, attention is shifting to what is going on at the bottom of the table.

Five teams are looking to battle it out in the final games of the season, all hoping not to slip into Serie B. Some look like they will struggle much more than others to maintain their top flight status but many twists and turns could still occur between now and the end of the campaign.

Catania prop up the table at present, sitting on 23 points. They only have five wins to their name all term and have scored the least amount of goals. Most people’s favourites for relegation, they will be bitterly disappointed should this be the case, as their arch rivals Palermo are due to come back up into Serie A next season.

A win against Sampdoria in their last game may give them some hope but with fixtures away at Hellas Verona before they host Roma, the future does not look bright. Should they get something out of these games then the final two games against relegation-threatened Bologna and then Atalanta may be a reason to hope.

Livorno are arguably in more trouble than Catania even though they lie two points ahead of them. They have conceded seven goals in their last two games and have not won a match in their last six outings. The Tuscan side are in free fall and despite having produced some decent performances this year they look doomed to return to Serie B only a year after coming up.

The fixture list does not make great reading for their loyal fans, with Lazio at home being followed by Udinese away. Add to this a derby against Fiorentina and a tough away tie to Parma and it would seem the smart money would be on them to go.

Sassuolo came up to Serie A with few fans and even fewer hopes but have given themselves reason to be proud. The newly promoted Serie A minnows always looked like they would be a dead cert to go straight back down due to their lack of resources. There have been highs and lows in this campaign, a 0-7 defeat to Inter was countered with a 4-3 win against Milan but time may now be running out for the plucky little club.

They sit level on points with Bologna and occupy the final relegation place; however, hopes of getting out of this look slim as their fixture list is tough to say the least. They welcome Juventus before travelling to play Fiorentina in games that would take a herculean effort to win. Genoa at home maybe the only real chance of points before they go away to Milan on the final day.

Bologna, as previously mentioned, sit on the same points as Sassuolo, their campaign has been a disaster. They will be hoping that their team has the quality to see them through the remaining fixtures but these are by no means a dead cert.

The Derby of Appennino against Fiorentina is always hotly contested and this comes before an away tie at Genoa. A good old-fashioned relegation “six-pointer” against Catania follows before they play away at Lazio on the final day. This perhaps is not the hardest run in out of all of the bottom teams but it still leaves no room for complacency.

The final team in the mix is Chievo as they sit on 30 points only two from the drop. The team from Verona have conceded 50 goals this term and have lost 20 games. It is a campaign full of regrets but they at least have Alberto Paloschi in form. His 13 goals this season will give the Flying Donkeys room to dream and they will need his goal-scoring prowess in the coming games.

Sampdoria away is a game they will want to get points from as it will help them create an early gap. Torino come to town in their sparkling form and will not be a push over before they play Cagliari. The Sardinians are on 36 points, one place above Chievo, and they will not want to be dragged into the relegation fight. The final game of the season is against Inter at home and so they will want to be safe by then.

It would look like Livorno, with their run in, would be favourites for the drop with Catania. The Sicilians perhaps are just three points too many away from where they need to be.

The final place will be interesting as it will mean that both Chievo and Bologna will have to at least produce one victory each to guarentee survival. That means it will be impossible for Sassuolo who will more than likley also return to Serie B. This being said they do have the right mentality for this run in but on paper it just seems too much.

There are doubtless surprises, shocks and upsets to come in the remaining games but on paper each team looks like they have a tough time ahead. It perhaps will be a solitary win in a game that nobody expects that could throw any predictions out the window. It will be exciting and it will be dramatic and that is why the fight for Serie A safety will be one of the highlights of the season.

Filed under catania sassuolo livorno serie a serie b chievo bologna

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Ultras Culture: The Fall Of The Ultra Scene

During the late 1980’s and early 90’s the Italian Ultra scene was at its peak, hundreds of thousands of Ultras would travel the length and breath of the Peninsular every weekend just to feel a part of something.

“You will never understand unless your one of us” World Famous Ultras/ Casuals phrase

It was far more than going to see you team play, it wasn’t about the fancy players on the pitch who despite being heroes they were also nothing more than mercenaries available for hire to the highest bidder. It was about your club, your colors, something you were a part of, something you helped to create, fighting and showing your passion for a cause you truly believed in.

Every weekend the Autostrade would be filled with convoys of coaches and scooters, trains would have standing room only as hordes of fans were proudly following their colors some weeks fans would travel for days clocking up thousands of kilometers going from the very north of the country right to the very tip of the boot just for a couple of hours of pure unadulterated passion. Those were the days, those were the days of real Ultra culture.

Then came the apocalypse governments, local authorities and footballing bodies around the world clamped down on the Ultras branding them as nothing but mindless thugs, pinning the blame on them for everything that was wrong with “modern society.“ The government-controlled media fueled the fire as they claimed football fans were solely responsible for the tragedies at Hillsborough and The Heysel Stadium disaster along with anything else that would portray every single football fan as a violent hooligan. It was an easy cop out for the lower classes to take all the blame for what was wrong with the world after all who ever heard of politicians and nobility to attend football matches.

The crackdown on Ultras Culture and the football Casual scene was not just in Italy but it was certainly one of the hardest hit countries. If you was caught by the police while involved in football related violence you was almost certainly looking at serving a custodial sentence, if only for a short period of time if you were lucky.

Slowly the real football fans that had followed their beloved team up and down the country stopped going to the games not because of the fear of being caught up in violence but for the fear of just being near the outbreak of such a thing, so strict was the new laws on football violence just being present at the game was almost evidence enough to see you penalized in someway.

In 2009 the Italian police decided to introduce “Tessera del tifoso” The supporters ID card, a card that every single football fan in the peninsular was required to have if they wished to buy a match ticket. To obtain a Tessera you had to go to your local police station hand over almost every single peace of personal identification you possessed along with proof of place of birth and current address. All this just so the authorities knew where to go if you were identified to be involved anything deemed to be anti-social behavior.


Many Ultras groups refused to be repressed in such a way they simply refused to go to football at all as they would rather lose out than make it look like the establishment had won. Attendances plummeted once roaring passionate stadiums turned into crumbling old subdued relics. Football was no longer for the fans it was for industry. Football had a new clean fresh image where big name sponsors replaced the genuine fan the working mans game had now become the millionaires’ playground and we all know who paid the price.

Later the Tessera law was reduced to allow fans without a Tessera to attend home fixtures providing they showed documentation when buying the ticket also you had to purchase the ticket in the province the match was taking place. Still to this day if you wish to attend any match as an away fan you must produce a valid Tessera and even now many teams have large groups of Ultras that still refuse to apply for a Tessera.

Next week we will be charting the rise of a new era of Italian Ultras and the rebirthing of a much-loved misunderstood culture that is ready to re-takes its crown as the greatest footballing culture on the planet.

By Clark Stupple @Clarkiebaby

Pictures
Top: Paolo Di Canio (far right -no pun intended)
Middle: Catania Ultras mid 80’s
Bottom: Atalanta Ultras, Anti-Tessera protests

Filed under ultras catania atalanta Serie a ultra culture

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The Gentleman Ultras guide to the teams of Serie A: CATANIA

THE STADIUM

Stadio Angelo Massimino

Teams: Catania

Capacity: 23,420

Built: 1937

City: Catania

Sicily can be as violent as it is beautiful and although the Stadio Angelo Massimino is in a fantastic setting its history is marred by recent events.

Constructed in 1937 this stadium has not been modified as much as many in the Peninsula however, its atmosphere is second to none. The extremely passionate Catania supporters are loudest in the Curva Nord where many of their Ultra Groups reside and they provide a spectacle of colour, flags, flares and choreography.

The dark side of this however, was never more evident than when Palermo visited the stadium in a derby match in 2007. Police officer Filippo Raciti was trying to break up a fight outside the stadium when he was hit in the face with an explosive and died. The trouble had broken out as Police had tried to stop Palermo fans entering the stadium mid way through the match and fights broke out. In the end the game had to be abandoned. Catania were banned from playing any matches in the Stadium from 14 February 2007 until 30 June 2007 as a result.

THE ULTRAS

City: Catania - Sicily

Key Ultra Groups: Falange d’Assalto Rossazzurra (Red and blue Assault Phalanx), Irriducibili (Unbreakables).

Other Ultra Groups: A Sostegno di una fede (In Support of a faith), Onda d’urto (Shockwave), Giovani Rossazzurri (Young Red and blues), Decisi (The Determined), Drunks, I Pazzi (The Crazy ones), Ultras-Ghetto, Boys Resca (Barb Boys), Tigna (Ringworm), Torrone (Nougat), A.N.R (Associazione Non Riconosciuta – The Unknown Association), Vecchia Guardia (Old Guard).

The air filling the baroque styled streets surrounding Catania’s Stadio Angelo Massimino is thick with the fumes of tear gas and smoke. Palermo’s David Di Michele has earned a famous victory in the Derby di Sicilia, much to the chagrin of the Catania Ultras. But while the battle on the field is lost, the war on the streets has just begun. The Catania fans vent their fury at the police. Homemade bombs, flares, firecrackers, pipes, rocks, pieces of sink and even a scooter rain down on the authorities. The cacophony of explosions, helicopters, and yells almost drown out the approaching ambulance sirens. Amidst the maelstrom a policemen lies fatally injured. Allegedly struck by a broken sink and a missile which exploded in his vicinity, he would later die from his injuries in hospital. The officer’s name was Filippo Raciti and the events of February 2nd 2007 remain one of the most ignominious in Il Calcio’s history. Life on the Curve would never be the same again.

The day after Raciti’s death Gazzetta Dello Sport ran the headline “Poliziotto Ucciso Il Calcio Chiude” – Policeman Murdered, Football Closes. In his column for the Guardian James Richardson reported an “authentic ambush” on the police planned and coordinated by Catania Ultras. Italian football was reeling. The match fixing scandal (Calciopoli) in 2006 had revealed a dark under belly but this was something altogether more sinister. Il Calcio had been plunged into the global spotlight and sanctions were swift. Games were immediately postponed and although Serie A returned the following week radical changes were afoot.

Italy’s football chief Luca Pancalli stated “What we’re witnessing has nothing to do with soccer… Without drastic measures, we cannot play again”. The football stadia act, also known as Pisanu decree involved a draconian clamp down. Teams whose grounds weren’t up to code (this being the majority across Italian leagues) were forced to play behind closed doors. A ban was placed on pyrotechnics and the sale of block tickets to away supporters. Financial relationships between clubs and fan associations were prohibited. Catania were forced to play the remainder of their games at a neutral venue and behind closed doors. The Stadio Massimino underwent major work to meet the newly introduced safety measures and did not re-open to fans until September 2, 2007 when Catania hosted Genoa. A minutes silence was observed for Filippo Raciti.

The events in 2007 encapsulate the disturbing side of Ultra culture. A continuation of strict measures such as the Tessera del Tifoso (supporters ID card) has at times threatened their very existence. However while the Catania’s Ultras will forever be synonymous with the tragic death of officer Raciti their loyalty and passion was fundamental in leading Catania Calcio to the summit of Italian football.

Over the years the Stadio Massimino has seen a number of Ultra groups take eminence on both Curve. Two of Catania’s more renowned groups are Falange d’Assalto Rossazzurra (Red and Blue Assault Phalanx) and Primo Amore (First Love) later renamed Irriducibili (Unbreakables). Falange (1979) were Catania’s first Ultra group and resided in the Curva Nord. Their incursion saw the birth of other groups such as Onda d’Urto (shockwave) and Giovani Rossoazzurri (Young red and blues), the latter’s members moved to the Curva Sud and in 1991 founded the Irriducibili. In Catania’s case it seems the habitual internal divisions were exemplified in the varying degrees of prominence enjoyed by both Curve. While the Curva Sud was the heartbeat of the stadium during the late 90’s the Nord remains one of the most atmospheric in Italy today and its effervescence is said to be the reason Catania Calcio remains one of the biggest clubs in Sicily.

In 1993 Catania Calcio was a perennial struggler and their financial problems had seen them relegated to Eccellenza (The 6th tier of Italian football). Franco Proto, president of Atletico Leonzio, a team from Lentini (just 20 miles from Catania) sought to take advantage of this situation by moving Leonzio and forming Atletico Catania. However the Catania fans rejected this team preferring to stay faithful to their beloved Rossoazzura. New recruits grew through the lower leagues and they formed the group ‘A Sostegno di una fede’ (In Support of a faith). Despite languishing in the depths of despair Catania’s following was ever-present and the Curva Nord was alive with an array of flags, banners and colourful smoke effects.

When it comes to rivalries Catania – Palermo is as fierce as they come. Messina, another prominent Sicilian club come a close second. Other noteworthy enemies include Catanazaro, Taranto (especially for their blasphemous chants insulting Catania’s patron saint - Agatha), Reggina, Salernitana, Avellino and Siracusa. Catania’s Ultras have good relations with Crotone and Trapani, the latter being based on common hatred of Palermo.

Catania is a city which lies in the shadow of the imposing Volcano Mount Etna or in local tongue ‘A Muntagna’. Remarkably following its eruption in the 17th century one of the materials used to rebuild the city was lava. The volcanic stoned pavements are a constant reminder of the cities tragic but explosive past and while the picturesque Stadio Massimino has often produced beautiful match day choreographies it’s Ultras are as volatile and eruptive as their volcanic neighbour.   

CLASSIC PLAYER

Giuseppe Mascara

“I must say that it is already an honour to play for Catania. They are my hometown club and I always try to give my best on the pitch every week.”

This was a simple statement given to associated press in 2009 from Catania front man Giuseppe Mascara. It was humble, honest but hugely understated as the Sicilian born forward was much more than just a ‘home town boy come good’.

At just under 6ft and with a very slight frame Mascara did not look like a natural athlete and was perhaps not in keeping with the Spartan looking forwards we see today. Even so he had an unnatural ability to score spectacular goals and this was achieved through hard work and quick thinking.

Mascara joined Catania in 2003, a move which thrilled the young striker who returned home to Sicily. This was the zenith of his career and he took to the task of establishing Catania as a top flight club with vigor. Soon his team had made it to Serie A and his continued efforts saw him adapt to the division and he slowly began to make a name for himself.

His best season for Catania (and possibly his enter career) was in 2008-09 whilst playing under Walter Zenga. In this year he scored 12 goals in 34 games and scored one of the goals of the season against hated rivals Palermo. It is certainly worth looking up his 55 yard lob that beat Marco Amelia in the opposition goal.

Mascara was also known for the amount of research he would do before games, working on goalkeeper’s habits and defenders frailties. Walter Zenga remembers his asking frequently for reports on the opposition’s custodian.

Mascara left Catania in 2011 for Napoli but never regained the form he found at his boyhood club. He is still Catania’s all-time leading scorer with 31 goals.

When Calcio ruled the world, Mascara was helping Catania arrive in style.

By Richard Hall @Gentleman_Ultra and Luca Hodges-Ramon @LH_Ramon25

Filed under Mascara Catania Falange D' Assalto Rossazzurra Stadio Angelo Massimino sicily

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Inter 3-0 Catania 1954/55

In the 1953/1954 season Inter were crowned Champions of Serie A and were enjoying the spoils of their achievement. One year later and things had started to go wrong, mainly because their city rivals Milan had Gunnar Nordahl firing on all cylinders. Highlights were few and far between but the game against Catania was one to remember.

Catania were certainly the new boys in the division and were looking to try and mix it up with the big teams on the main land. Inter provided a fine team with players like Lennart Skoglund, Marco Savioni and Benito Lorenzi and although the season was tough for the defending Champions hopes were still high.

The game was dominated by Inter from the off and the opening goal was one worthy of the Champions they were. A fierce ball across the box saw Savioni knock a difficult back waits height on the edge of the box. The crowd thought the chance had gone until Skoglund contorted his body to twist into an unnatural position and in turn smashed a ball on the volley into the net using the outside of his foot. It was a goal that would have been replayed over and over again in Serie A today, lest mot forget the weight of the ball.

The second goal was not long coming; the only surprise was that it had not come much earlier. This time it was Marco Savioni who, not happy with only an assist decided it was his turn to get in on the action. The ball was whipped across his body and even though his back was to goal he positioned himself quickly and smashed the ball low past the goalkeeper in spectacular fashion.

The final goal also came from the predator Savioni as he proceeded to assert himself for a man of the match contender. The goal came when a badly misjudged clearance fell to Rosa Franco who volleyed it into the keeper’s midriff; fortunately Savioni was at hand to finish it off with his typical ruthless efficiency.

The game was a formality and Inter marched on. The problem for the Nerazzuri was that this was one of few high points in the season and they finished a disappointing eight. Catania on the other hand finished what seemed to be a respectable 12th, but were still relegated along with Udinese  Serie B by the FIGC for a corruption case.

INTER 3-0 CATANIA

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0B7906A_5sI

Filed under inter catania san siro franco savioni skoglund

1 note

THE GENTLEMAN ULTRAS GUIDE TO THE GROUNDS OF SERIE A

Stadio Angelo Massimino

Teams: Catania

Capacity: 23,420

Built: 1937

City: Catania

Sicily can be as violent as it is beautiful and although the Stadio Angelo Massimino is in a fantastic setting its history is marred by recent events.

Constructed in 1937 this stadium has not been modified as much as many in the Peninsula however, its atmosphere is second to none. The extremely passionate Catania supporters are loudest in the Curva Nord where many of their Ultra Groups reside and they provide a spectacle of colour, flags, flares and choreography.

The dark side of this however, was never more evident than when Palermo visited the stadium in a derby match in 2007. Police officer Filippo Raciti was trying to break up a fight outside the stadium when he was hit in the face with an explosive and died. The trouble had broken out as Police had tried to stop Palermo fans entering the stadium mid way through the match and fights broke out. In the end the game had to be abandoned. Catania were banned from playing any matches in the Stadium from 14 February 2007 until 30 June 2007 as a result.

Filed under catania stadio angelo massimo sicily

19 notes

A guide to the Ultra groups in Serie A: Catania

City: Catania - Sicily

Key Ultra Groups: Falange d’Assalto Rossazzurra (Red and blue Assault Phalanx), Irriducibili (Unbreakables).

Other Ultra Groups: A Sostegno di una fede (In Support of a faith), Onda d’urto (Shockwave), Giovani Rossazzurri (Young Red and blues), Decisi (The Determined), Drunks, I Pazzi (The Crazy ones), Ultras-Ghetto, Boys Resca (Barb Boys), Tigna (Ringworm), Torrone (Nougat), A.N.R (Associazione Non Riconosciuta – The Unknown Association), Vecchia Guardia (Old Guard).

The air filling the baroque styled streets surrounding Catania’s Stadio Angelo Massimino is thick with the fumes of tear gas and smoke. Palermo’s David Di Michele has earned a famous victory in the Derby di Sicilia, much to the chagrin of the Catania Ultras. But while the battle on the field is lost, the war on the streets has just begun. The Catania fans vent their fury at the police. Homemade bombs, flares, firecrackers, pipes, rocks, pieces of sink and even a scooter rain down on the authorities. The cacophony of explosions, helicopters, and yells almost drown out the approaching ambulance sirens. Amidst the maelstrom a policemen lies fatally injured. Allegedly struck by a broken sink and a missile which exploded in his vicinity, he would later die from his injuries in hospital. The officer’s name was Filippo Raciti and the events of February 2nd 2007 remain one of the most ignominious in Il Calcio’s history. Life on the Curve would never be the same again.

The day after Raciti’s death Gazzetta Dello Sport ran the headline “Poliziotto Ucciso Il Calcio Chiude” – Policeman Murdered, Football Closes. In his column for the Guardian James Richardson reported an “authentic ambush” on the police planned and coordinated by Catania Ultras. Italian football was reeling. The match fixing scandal (Calciopoli) in 2006 had revealed a dark under belly but this was something altogether more sinister. Il Calcio had been plunged into the global spotlight and sanctions were swift. Games were immediately postponed and although Serie A returned the following week radical changes were afoot.

Italy’s football chief Luca Pancalli stated “What we’re witnessing has nothing to do with soccer… Without drastic measures, we cannot play again”. The football stadia act, also known as Pisanu decree involved a draconian clamp down. Teams whose grounds weren’t up to code (this being the majority across Italian leagues) were forced to play behind closed doors. A ban was placed on pyrotechnics and the sale of block tickets to away supporters. Financial relationships between clubs and fan associations were prohibited. Catania were forced to play the remainder of their games at a neutral venue and behind closed doors. The Stadio Massimino underwent major work to meet the newly introduced safety measures and did not re-open to fans until September 2, 2007 when Catania hosted Genoa. A minutes silence was observed for Filippo Raciti.

The events in 2007 encapsulate the disturbing side of Ultra culture. A continuation of strict measures such as the Tessera del Tifoso (supporters ID card) has at times threatened their very existence. However while the Catania’s Ultras will forever be synonymous with the tragic death of officer Raciti their loyalty and passion was fundamental in leading Catania Calcio to the summit of Italian football.

Over the years the Stadio Massimino has seen a number of Ultra groups take eminence on both Curve. Two of Catania’s more renowned groups are Falange d’Assalto Rossazzurra (Red and Blue Assault Phalanx) and Primo Amore (First Love) later renamed Irriducibili (Unbreakables). Falange (1979) were Catania’s first Ultra group and resided in the Curva Nord. Their incursion saw the birth of other groups such as Onda d’Urto (shockwave) and Giovani Rossoazzurri (Young red and blues), the latter’s members moved to the Curva Sud and in 1991 founded the Irriducibili. In Catania’s case it seems the habitual internal divisions were exemplified in the varying degrees of prominence enjoyed by both Curve. While the Curva Sud was the heartbeat of the stadium during the late 90’s the Nord remains one of the most atmospheric in Italy today and its effervescence is said to be the reason Catania Calcio remains one of the biggest clubs in Sicily.

In 1993 Catania Calcio was a perennial struggler and their financial problems had seen them relegated to Eccellenza (The 6th tier of Italian football). Franco Proto, president of Atletico Leonzio, a team from Lentini (just 20 miles from Catania) sought to take advantage of this situation by moving Leonzio and forming Atletico Catania. However the Catania fans rejected this team preferring to stay faithful to their beloved Rossoazzura. New recruits grew through the lower leagues and they formed the group ‘A Sostegno di una fede’ (In Support of a faith). Despite languishing in the depths of despair Catania’s following was ever-present and the Curva Nord was alive with an array of flags, banners and colourful smoke effects.

When it comes to rivalries Catania – Palermo is as fierce as they come. Messina, another prominent Sicilian club come a close second. Other noteworthy enemies include Catanazaro, Taranto (especially for their blasphemous chants insulting Catania’s patron saint - Agatha), Reggina, Salernitana, Avellino and Siracusa. Catania’s Ultras have good relations with Crotone and Trapani, the latter being based on common hatred of Palermo.

Catania is a city which lies in the shadow of the imposing Volcano Mount Etna or in local tongue ‘A Muntagna’. Remarkably following its eruption in the 17th century one of the materials used to rebuild the city was lava. The volcanic stoned pavements are a constant reminder of the cities tragic but explosive past and while the picturesque Stadio Massimino has often produced beautiful match day choreographies it’s Ultras are as volatile and eruptive as their volcanic neighbour.   

By Luca Hodges-Ramon

Follow Luca on Twitter @Lh_Ramon25

Filed under Catania Sicily Ultras Stadio Massimino

4 notes

Roma’s end of year fixtures could make or break their season

“Maybe I was just too involved in the game,” Rudi Garcia told Sky Sport Italia, after his team failed to beat Cagliari on Monday night, “This was an unexpected result. People often say if you can’t win, the next best thing is not to lose.”

The aggravated Roma Coach had been sent to the stands during the game for getting a little too involved in proceedings but even in his frustration he made a crystal clear point.  The Giallorossi had started the campaign at a record breaking pace winning 10 out of 10 and looked like they may take Serie A by storm. After a win against Chievo they looked at the fixture list with a wolf like hunger at the prospect of playing Torino, Sassuolo and Cagliari in succession.

Life has a tendency of tripping you up when you least expect it and fans of the Roman outfit would not have expected to pick up three draws and more crucially only three points out of these three games that promised so much. Now Juventus have risen to the summit and a dark sense of foreboding is gathering in Garcia’s camp.

Roma are now one point behind ‘The Old Lady’ and although they are still undefeated and have only conceded three goals ,the fixture list ahead still looks daunting. With recent injuries to Miralem Pjanic and Mehdi Benatia adding to an already substantial list, the build up to the winter break now has become a different beast.

Roma’s next game is a tricky away trip to the Stadio Azzurri d’Italia to take on Atalanta. The side from Bergamo are coming off the back of an away defeat to Sassuolo but don’t be deceived. Atalanta have won three out of their last four home games including victories over Udinese, Lazio and Bologna, they also drew with Inter.

Roma then host Fiorentina which on paper promises to be one of the games of the season. Fiorentina have also been a little bit sporadic of late with defeats in Udine and Naples but Giuseppe Rossi’s goal scoring form could frighten any team right now.

Rudi Garcia then takes his men to Milan for a trip to the San Siro. Despite the daunting sound of this trip Milan are perhaps the team least in form, although the big games are always go against the grain. Roma will be hoping to have some key players back by this point.

Finally they host Catania at the Stadio Olimpico, just before the winter break. This match will no doubt have taken a different shape due to the results previous but it is still fair to say that with Catania languishing at the foot of the Serie A table, this will be the one game they will be convinced of getting three points in.

The fixture list may look daunting as the Giallorossi scratch their heads after drawing with the Sardinians but there is much to smile about. As mentioned previously they are undefeated and have players due back soon, plus they are not conceding goals.

Rudi Garcia already had the answer however, for when the furious coach marched away from the game on Monday he blurted a message that rang true like a bell at St Peters. “People often say if you can’t win, the next best thing is not to lose.”  They haven’t and as long as they maintain this, they will still feel and look like title contenders.

Filed under Roma Garcia Totti Cagliari Milan Fiorentina Catania Atalanta

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The Gentleman Ultras guide to the grounds in Serie A: CATANIA

Stadio Angelo Massimino

Capacity: 23,420

Built: 1937

City: Catania

Sicily can be as violent as it is beautiful and although the Stadio Angelo Massimino is in a fantastic setting its history is marred by recent events. Constructed in 1937 this stadium has not been modified as much as many in the Peninsula however, its atmosphere is second to none. The extremely passionate Catania supporters are loudest in the Curva Nord where many of their Ultra Groups (most notably the Ultras Liberi) reside and they provide a spectacle of colour, flags, flares and choreography. The dark side of this however, was never more evident than when Palermo visited the stadium in a derby match in 2007. Police officer Filippo Raciti was trying to break up a fight outside the stadium when he was hit in the face with an explosive and died. The trouble had broken out as Police had tried to stop Palermo fans entering the stadium mid way through the match and fights broke out. In the end the game had to be abandoned. Catania were banned from playing any matches in the Stadium from 14 February 2007 until 30 June 2007 as a result.

CATANIA CURVA NORD v PALERMO

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDhefo_TEeE

Filed under catania stadio angelo massimo Palermo Ultras

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Is Lodi Inter going to Milan?

Francesco Lodi is being courted by both Milan giants according to Sky Sports Italia. The 28 year old midfielder has been a constant in the Catania midfield this season and has scored 4 goals in 19 appearances.

Catania however, are not surprisingly reluctant to let their set piece specialist go, insisting that they will not sell until the summer. It seems as though both Milan clubs will try and test the resolve of the Sicilian side this January even though they may have to pay over the odds to do so.

Filed under Milan Inter Catania Lodi

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Is Italy preparing for a stadium overhaul?

With public finances a mess and so many proposed stadiums rejected, it is no wonder that many believe Italy are incapable of regenerating her football arenas. However, after the recent success of the Juventus Arena and the new Stadium Law, the new projects may soon become a reality.

Juventus have been the trail-blazers in the Peninsula, building a superb state of the art stadium without breaking the bank. This also was off the back of the Calciopoli scandal and this smart move has now catapulted the club to one of the top teams in Italy. With high attendances generating big profit from ticket sales along with the extra match day revenue the ‘Old Lady’ has also proved that she is wise.

Clubs in Italy can now hope to be bolstered by the new Stadium Law that is soon to come into play. This is a piece of legislation that has been in place for two years but has yet to be finalised. Now the current government are hoping to get the law passed before the Stadium Business Summit that will take place in Turin in May. This summit will in turn hope to show the world what Italy’s intentions and clear cut plans will be in relation to this matter.

The Stadium Law itself hopes to give the private sector the chance to develop these new Stadia as they work alongside the local authorities. This will mirror the government’s plan that they have for the rest of the country although much will depend on the cooperation of the regional authorities. The description given of this law that will generate this boom in Stadia construction has been called a ‘PPP Finance model’.

Italian clubs all around the peninsula are now ready to start implementing the plans that have been festering in their archives for years. No better example that clubs believe that it is the time to act could be found this week than in the actions of Cagliari President Massimo Cellino. He decided to pull out a revolutionary plan against his local authorities this week due to the fact he was so unhappy with the lack of renovation work on Stadio Sant’Elia. He has also been frustrated with the lack of progress over the years on his new stadium proposal. Therefore Cellino decided to have the weekend’s match against Inter moved to Trieste 1,133km away.

This echoed recent comments made by Ugo Cappellacci, president of Sardinia’s regional authority, who said that Cagliari’s recent game against Cesena was: “an exciting show in a desolate arena” and that it was “inadequate for the needs of the team, fans and Sardinia.” Despite support from the Mayor, Cellino thought that after his recent plan to build near the airport had been blocked, drastic action was needed.

Catania are another club who have had problems with their stadium although this has mainly been the result of violence. Nonetheless in an attempt to create a better environment for football to be watched, Nino Pulvirenti, President of the club has suggested a 30-35,000 capacity venue to be erected at a cost of 80-100 million Euros. This new arena would contain space for municipal offices which are thought to be of interest to the local authorities.

Read more at http://www.footballitaliano.co.uk/p6_66_6950_is-italy-preparing-for-a-stadium-overhaul.html

Filed under Stadia Juventus Roma Catania cagliari Lazio Atalanta Fiorentina Serie A