Inter condemn fan-enforced stadium exit in honour of murdered ultra

Inter Milan condemned on Monday hardcore fans enforcing the mass exit of an entire section of the San Siro to honour a notorious supporter murdered just before their win over Sampdoria this weekend.

Simone Inzaghi's side were on a high after reaching the last 16 of the Champions League last week and moved up to fifth in Serie A with Saturday's 3-0 victory.

However the Curva Nord section of the stadium, usually the loudest, stood in silence and then exited en masse at half-time as a mark of respect to Vittorio Boiocchi, considered one of the historic leaders of Inter's hardcore ultras and a career criminal.

Regular Inter fans who were in the middle tier of the Curva Nord on Saturday published a series of testimonies on social media saying they were forced under threat of violence to leave the stand which had a capacity of around 7,500.

"FC Internazionale Milano strongly condemns any coercion that may have taken place in the middle tier of the San Siro on Saturday," Inter said in a statement.

"The club expresses its total solidarity with those fans forced to give up what they care about most -- their love and passion for Inter."

Inter added that they would offer "total collaboration with law enforcement in order to safeguard the rights of its fans".

Boiocchi, sentenced in the 1990s to more than two decades in prison for drug trafficking, was shot several times near his home on the outskirts of Milan and died at the age of 69.

He had a criminal record stretching back to the mid-1970s and was banned from attending Inter matches.

Italian media report that in wiretapped conversations Boiocchi bragged about earning 80,000 euros ($79,000) a month through ticket touting and by taking a cut from parking and food stands near the San Siro.

Lazio's ultras, who have long-standing ties with their Inter equivalents due to shared far-right sympathies, stood in silence for the first 15 minutes of their 3-1 home defeat to Salernitana on Sunday.

Inter fans had honoured the leader of Lazio's ultras Fabrizio Piscitelli in the same way in 2019 after he was shot in the back of the head in a gangland execution in a Rome park.

Known as 'Diabolik', Piscitelli was said by investigators to have been heavily involved in drug trafficking with established organised crime groups operating in the capital.

td/mw