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Saudi decor divides the Italian tifosi

9385135e1b7a13e884c1eb35f913574f - Saudi decor divides the Italian tifosi

In Italy rages a debate about the vrouwonvriendelijke Saudi Arabia as a tournament grounds for the duel for the Supercup between Juventus and AC Milan.

Saudi decor divides the Italian tifosi

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When it became clear that women, even the traveling Italian fans, Tuesday during the Supercup in Jeddah in a separate box to sit down, burst into Italy, the criticism los.
Dave Winter/belgaimage

In Italy rages a debate about the vrouwonvriendelijke Saudi Arabia as a tournament grounds for the duel for the Supercup between Juventus and AC Milan.

Saudi decor divides the Italian tifosi

Other sports are also arches not after criticism

Read more below


Marc Leijendekker

AmsterdamMatteo Salvini, the Italian Interior minister and deputy prime minister, who, as a kind of ‘sheriff’ his country wants to be free of foreigners, it is almost never agree with Laura Boldrini, the former speaker of the fourteen years, spokesman of the UN agency for refugees. But this time they sound together as a duet: this football game would not be allowed to continue.

It comes to the ‘Supercoppa’. Next week Tuesday is so played soccer between Juventus, the champion of last season, and AC Milan, the loser of the Italian cup final against Juventus. The stadium, with 60,000 seats, is almost sold out, and many people directly involved say that there is nothing more to do. But many Italians, especially women, find it a shame.

The contest is sold to Saudi Arabia. In exchange for 22 million euros, the Italian football federation last summer decided three of the next five matches for the Supercup in that country to play. Canada, China, and Qatar were also interested, but the Saudi’s offered the most. Again. The sale of the Supercoppa to Saudi Arabia is part of a development in which wealthy countries, especially in the Middle East, succeed in major sporting events to them, even though there is criticism on their internal political, economic and social policy.

Separate box

“You can’t play football in a country that women discriminate against’

Giorgio Meloni


After the signing of the contract remained long silent in Italy. But when two weeks ago it became clear that women only, also the accompanying Italian supporters in the stadium in a separate box, had to sit down, burst the criticism off with the murder of journalist Kashoggi sometimes as an additional argument not to go.

‘You can’t play in a country that women discriminate against’, fulminated Giorgio Meloni, the leader of a small right-wing party. The radical left-wing Boldrini found that the staatsomroep Rai must be banned from the contest directly to send out. Lega-leader Salvini, an ardent tifoso of the Milan is that often on the stand, said that this time he will not look because ” I can’t go a contest see between the veils and burkas’. Are partijgenoot Paolo Grimoldi, vice-president of the parliamentary Committee for Foreign Affairs, said that Italy values for a handful of money sold.

‘It is a mistake a match to play women-only reserved zones. We need this discrimination not to accept. Whoever accepts, is complicit, ” said minister Giulia Bongiorno, a former member of the board of directors of Juventus. And Barbara Berlusconi, daughter of and a couple of years, director of Milan, said in the newspaper Il Fatto daily life: “This competition should not be organised in a country where there is no respect for the woman. History has shown, however, that the boycott of sporting events that are already planned, never has been useful.’

Barbara Berlusconi suggested that there hypocrisy lies in the indignant responses from politicians. If things can be done, everyone is looking the other way if the to human rights, ” she said. Football, she cynically know, ‘now as always the task to save the world’.

Step forward

The proponents wait for the storm to lie down. Manlio Di Stefano, on behalf of the populist Vijfsterrenbeweging secretary of state for Foreign Affairs, wrote on the partijblog that he already had that outrage ‘at least ridiculous’. It comes to sports, not politics, ” he wrote. In addition, the women only go to the stadium, without man, and that is already a step forward. ‘The whole of Europe (the cradle of democracy has political, economic and social relations with countries where the sharia is in force, ” he wrote. “Do you want to do something against the sharia? Do that than with politics and not with the sport, otherwise you’re engaged in a senseless and hypocritical polemic.’

Half of Italy now know that, since last year some progress has been made as the women and sports: they can now at least go to the stadium. In a separate box when they are alone, in the familievak as they are by a man to be guided – for men only are also separate boxes.

The Italian football federation repeats all the time: it is already a step forward that women are at all to the stadium. Local traditions impose obstacles that are not from one day to the other can be changed, ” wrote the vice-president of the association, Gaetano Micchichè, in a long open letter to the Italian supporters. Therein, he underscored that Saudi Arabia’s most important trading partner of Italy in the Middle East’.

Minister Salvini of the Interior, the entire Supercoppa Tuesday at the King Abdullah Sports City Stadium in Jeddah ‘a sad, sordid affair’. But there is a smell to his indignation, found critics. During the match Inter–Napoli on december 26, made Inter-supporters so often jungle sounds as the Senegalese defender Koulibaly to the ball was that Napoli-trainer Such as the referee three times early in the match to stop. Happens often, no racism, ruled Salvini. There would be ex-speaker of Boldrini’t agree with them – and the football association not: Inter have two home games without audience. No men, no women.

Other sports are also arches not after criticism

AmsterdamNa the murder of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, in the beginning of October last year, several sporting events have been under pressure to see.

The WWE, the profbond of the showworstelen in the United States, signed in march last year, a ten-year lucrative deal – reportedly 39 million per year for an annual event in the capital Riad. Women were not allowed to participate in this ‘Crown Jewel’, but the criticism was really loose after the murder of Khashoggi. American politicians spoke out, two fighters refused participation. But the WWE went in spite of this “despicable crime” by the event, last november, to the ‘contract acceptance’.

Also, the golf and the Formula E, the electric racing series, leaving the criticism for what it was. The European Tour is holding this month for the first time a golf tournament in Saudi Arabia, and that just goes by. In december began the season in the Formula E with the very first race in the Riad. Both organisations said around the Khashoggi-matter only for the situation to be ‘monitors’. That was it.

A contested exhibition match between tennis players Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic went in december, do not by. Among others, Amnesty International asked both of them to see. Nadal and Djokovic expressed their doubts, but wanted more information. But the criticism was not the reason the game blow up: Nadal was recovering from a knee surgery. (fh)

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