Juventus have hit out at the decision to close the Curva Sud section of their stadium for the Serie A clash with Chievo on Saturday.
The Italian National Olympic Committee (CONI) confirmed that a section of the south stand would be closed for the game following an incident during the Turin derby in April, when a paper bomb injured nine people at Torino’s Stadio Olimpico.
The Serie A champions had initially appealed a sanction after arguing that the perpetrator was identified as holding neither an official ticket for the game nor a ‘fan passport’ which would allow him entry to the ground, while it was also questioned as to whether he was part of the home crowd.
As a result of the ruling, Juve are withdrawing from the ‘Gioca con Me – Tifa con me’ initiative aimed at encouraging children to attend matches.
“Juventus Football Club is greatly perplexed by the decision reached today by the Italian National Olympic Committee to close the South Stand for this Saturday’s match between Juventus and Chievo,” read a statement released via the club’s official website.
“This decision impacts on Juventus and a section of its season ticket holders despite the fact that the perpetrator is not a Juventus season ticket holder [and] was not in possession of a ticket for the Turin derby at the Stadio Olimpico.
“Juventus emphasises the urgent need to ensure that all stadia in Serie A meet common security and technological requirements so that deplorable incidents, such as the one which occurred in Turin’s Stadio Olimpico, can be quickly stamped out of the game. Nothing has happened so far since that day in April.
“The club has therefore decided against reprising ‘Gioca con Me – Tifa con me’ (‘Play with Me – Cheer with Me’), an initiative that in previous years has brought thousands of children to the stadium, notwithstanding the similar circumstances.”