A civil war is threatening to break out between sets of Juventus ultras following the arrests of leaders, with strikes, threats and potential clashes.
The club collaborated with police to confirm it had been blackmailed by certain ultras groups with threats of chants that they knew would generate heavy fines unless the Bianconeri gave them free tickets.
Last week, 12 leaders of the ultras groups were arrested, prompting a backlash from their followers, who boycotted the Champions League match with Atletico Madrid.
This evening, Juve have their first home game since the arrests, hosting Hellas Verona, and police are on red alert for trouble.
Some will sit in silence, others stand outside the stadium and chant insults towards the club, which could generate problems with visiting Hellas Verona fans.
La Gazzetta dello Sport even point to a Facebook post from a Neapolitan Juventus ultras leader who lives in Germany and represents the True Boys group, who are now in open warfare with the Tradizione group.
Using a phrase from the famous Naples-based series Gomorrah, he warned they will “take back what is ours” and would fight back if there were anti-Neapolitan or racist chants.
There is another reason today’s game will be different, as for the first time there will be official Juventus stewards inside the Curva Sud of the Allianz Juventus Stadium.
Stewards are still relatively new to Italian football and tend to stay out of the ‘Curva’ – the ends where the hotbed of hardcore ultras stand.
This is a signal from Juventus that they want to take back control of the stadium.
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