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Soccer-Genoa derby moved to Monday after fan protests

Reuters

ROME, Jan 31 (Reuters) - The Genoa derby has been moved to Monday evening (1945 GMT) after both Genoa and Sampdoria fans threatened to boycott the match in anger over the original early kickoff time of 1230 CET on Sunday (1130 GMT), the club said on Twitter.

The match was moved following a decision by a provincial public order committee, who were concerned about a mass fan protest outside the Luigi Ferraris stadium, while the traditional Sant'agata festival was taking place place.

"This way we can guarantee that the two events can be held in a more relaxed fashion for local people," Genoa police chief Giacomo Tinella was quoted as saying by the Gazzetta Dello Sport.

The supporter boycott was called last week by the hardcore "ultra" fans of both clubs, and was immediately backed by ordinary supporters clubs.

The new kickoff time, however, is unlikely to satisfy supporters who complained about football being "television's doormat".

"The fans are just wallets to empty and mugs to take liberties with, all with the approval of the football league," Genoa's ultras said in a statement last Friday.

Genoa go into the derby 11th in Serie A, five points ahead of Sinisa Mihajlovic's Sampdoria in 13th. (Reporting by Terry Daley; editing by Toby Davis)

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