NEWS
Sunday April 5 2015
Roma risk ban for offensive banners

Roma are under investigation and could receive a stadium ban after ultras insulted the mother of shot Napoli fan Ciro Esposito.

The incidents occurred during Saturday’s 1-0 Giallorossi victory at the Stadio Olimpico and took the form of banners and chants.

Esposito was a Napoli supporter who was shot by Roma fan Daniele De Santis ahead of the Coppa Italia Final in May 2014.

He later died of his injuries and his mother, Antonella Leardi, has become a figurehead calling for peace between ultras and an end to violence around football matches.

Instead, Roma fans in the Curva Sud unveiled a series of banners during the game against Napoli aiming insulting messages towards her.

‘How sad you make a lucrative living off a funeral from books and interviews,’ read one, while another declared ‘Antonella Leardi shut up.’

There were also banners showing support for the shooter De Santis, known in the ultras community as Gastone.

“My message might not reach everyone. I will pray for them the way I prayed and continue to pray for Daniele De Santis,” Leardi told CalcioNapoli24.it.

“I don’t care about insults, as I will continue to work for Ciro and for peace. We will continue to fight until football gets back to being a safe sport for those who love the game, just as Ciro loved it.

“I would only point out that in the past banners reading ‘Ciro lives’ were blocked at the entrance because they were unauthorised. Instead, the opposite happened in this case.

“I hope that more care can be shown for the banners that are displayed in the stands, without distinction.”

As it is against the rules to have banners that are unauthorised, Roma risk a heavy fine and even the closure of the Curva Sud, particularly as these are such offensive messages.