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Dirty Tackle

Milan fans had a banner demanding ‘traitor’ Antonio Cassano return defibrillator

Dirty Tackle

Milan fans' banners at Saturday's derby. (@Milanello)

Milan have been fined €8,000 for fan behavior at Sunday's 1-0 Derby della Madonnina loss to 10-man Inter. The offenses that earned the fine included plastic bottles thrown on the pitch and tasteless banners displayed with messages referencing former Milan striker Antonio Cassano's heart surgery last season.

"Cassano traitor, give us back the defibrillator," read one banner (pictured above) of the player who requested a transfer after the sale of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva and moved from Milan to Inter in a swap deal that also involved Giampaolo Pazzini. Cassano had heart surgery after suffering stroke-like symptoms on Milan's team plane last season and though he later admitted that he thought he might die, he made a tremendous recovery to reclaim a spot on Italy's Euro 2012 squad.

Cassano's heart condition was a theme among Milan supporters' banners on Sunday, though. There was also one that read "Cassano plays with his heart," where the "o" in "cuore" (the Italian word for heart) was a broken heart.

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In a time when nothing is too dark for the most bitter and desperate sections of football supporters to call upon, it's not surprising that Milan fans would reference this, but that doesn't make it OK either. Maybe fines like this will help curb this kind of thing or maybe it will limit Silvio Berlusconi to three prostitutes this week.

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