Italy: corona rules flouted over football victory

SSC Napoli won the Coppa Italia final on Wednesday against major rival Juventus Turin in a penalty shootout 4:2. Defying the coronavirus distancing rules, thousands of fans gathered in the streets of Naples, hugging each other and celebrating the victory for hours. This has fuelled a discussion in the media.

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La Repubblica (IT) /

Infectious joy

Anthropologist and journalist Marino Niola voices understanding for the fans' need to celebrate:

“After months of sacrifices, fear and suffering, thousands of people let their joy run wild. And many supporters, including myself, rejoiced along with them. Because joy is contagious. But the next moment they froze at the thought that a few hours of jubilation could be enough to make the nightmare come back. Perhaps it would have been better to give free rein to our enthusiasm in the privacy of our own four walls or semi-private rooms and avoid large gatherings. In normal times such gatherings are good for the body and the soul, and even for the immune system. But because there's an epidemic - something many are doing their best to forget - they could cost us dearly.”

Corriere della Sera (IT) /

An unfortunate spectacle

Writing in Corriere della Sera, journalist Fulvio Bufi shakes his head at the sight of fans flinging themselves into each other's arms:

“At least five thousand people in and around Naples gathered to celebrate, as if the risks of coronavirus infection had never existed. ... In social networks we find pseudo-sociological debates about a 'festival of liberation'. One should refrain from such terms, since the word 'liberation' has a more serious meaning in Italy. We would be much better off listening to the scientists who are expressing their disapproval: Ranieri Guerra, assistant deputy director of the WHO, spoke of an 'unfortunate' spectacle and recalled how much the Champions League game pitting Atalanta against Valencia at the beginning of the epidemic in Lombardy contributed to the spread of the disease.”