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Soccer-Italian Minister wants lifetime bans for hooligans

Reuters

(Updates after Napoli supporter ban reduced to one game)

ROME, May 16 (Reuters) - Italy's Interior Minister Angelino Alfano is working on a proposal for lifetime stadium bans for football hooligans following violence before this month's Cup final in which three Napoli fans were shot.

Stadium bans, handed out by the police and not the courts in Italy, can be given to supporters for a wide variety of offences including fighting and displaying offensive banners. The current maximum ban is five years.

"We are carrying out a study and will propose at the start of next season the introduction of a lifetime stadium ban for hooligans," Alfano said on Friday at the Foro Italico, venue of the Italian open tennis tournament.

"These people aren't fans, they're thugs and scum."

Three Napoli fans were shot at following clashes in the Tor Di Quinto area of Rome and the final against Fiorentina was delayed by 45 minutes as organisers held discussions with "ultra" leaders, trying to calm down protesting fans who had heard false rumours that a supporter had died.

Napoli were ordered to play two matches behind closed doors for offences committed by fans during the final, including a pitch invasion, throwing of flares and smoke bombs and booing the national anthem.

That punishment was cut to one game on Friday after the club appealed to the Italian Football Federation (FIGC), meaning Sunday's final match of the season against Hellas Verona (1845 GMT) will be the only one affected by the sanction. (Reporting by Terry Daley, editing by Ed Osmond and Toby Davis)

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