Napoli fans have announced they are planning to sue The Guardian’s Barry Glendenning for insulting the club and city.
This morning he wrote a transfer round-up in the English newspaper referring to a rumour Napoli are interested in signing Manchester United man Danny Welbeck.
“Napoli sporting director Riccardo Bigon has let Welbeck's agent know that Napoli are interested in signing up his client, but with Everton and Tottenham also interested, the club from one of Italy’s mafia strongholds will need to make Manchester United and Welbeck himself an offer they can’t refuse.”
The reference to the city as a “Mafia stronghold” has infuriated Italian media, who claim this is in effect a ‘racist’ attack on Naples.
Several clubs, most recently Inter, have been fined and even seen sections of the stadium closed down for ‘racist’ chants aimed against Neapolitans, who are covered under Italian rules against racism and territorial discrimination.
Now a group of Napoli supporters, calling themselves the Movimento Neoborbonico, have announced they’ve started a petition to take legal action against The Guardian and Glendenning.
“There were false and offensive statements against the club Napoli, the city of Naples and the Neapolitans.
“It is false and offensive to say Napoli is ‘the club from one of Italy’s mafia strongholds.’ We understand the bitterness that a Manchester United player could be sold to SSC Napoli, but we cannot justify gratuitous insults.
“Ancient enemy of England who contributed to the end of the glorious Reign of the Two Sicilies, Naples was and is one of the few cultural capitals in the world and Napoli one of the most prestigious clubs in the world.
“As Neapolitan citizens and as season ticket holders to Napoli, we are gathering signatures to proceed with our legal team to take action.”