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Roma supporters cheer their team prior the Italian Serie A football derby against Lazio last month in month. Gabriel Bouys / AFP
Roma supporters cheer their team prior the Italian Serie A football derby against Lazio last month in month. Gabriel Bouys / AFP

Serie A comment: Staging Rome cup final turning out to be organisational headache

The Coppa Italia final between Roma and Lazio is scheduled to coincide with the same day as elections in Rome, which has organisers and a stretched police force fearing fan behavior, writes Ian Hawkey.

As if authorities in Rome did not have enough to be concerned about, after two police officers were shot and injured not far from where a new cabinet were being sworn into parliament, the issue of the Coppa Italia final was still causing headaches on Tuesday.

Roma will meet Lazio in the season's showpiece. The last few days have seen anxious discussions over when, even where, it should take place. Violence between fans of the capital's rivals, and directed against police, around the Serie A Rome derby last month elevated fears and a lobby has grown to demand the fixture should only be scheduled during the daytime.

As bad luck would have it, the May 26 date of the final, assigned to Rome's Stadio Olimpico, coincides with elections in the city. That, in Italy's current, edgy economic and social climate, means police resources are potentially stretched. Some surreal solutions, such as staging the event in Beijing or Dubai, have even been mooted.

The Italian Super Cup the pre-season meeting between league and cup winners has frequently been held on a different continent, the argument goes, so why not this problematic final?

That argument shows scant regard for the majority of Romans who follow the two teams, week in, week out. But their voice becomes fainter and fainter the more the derby becomes an organisational menace.

Both Rome clubs frequently complain the game's establishment is instinctively against them. A number of their followers do little to gain sympathy.

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