Serie A’s reputation has once again taken a hit on Sunday afternoon, with the news that Lecce supporters, on their way to the Stadio Olimpico and the match against Roma, have been ambushed by Bari’s ultra supporters and had their coaches set on fire.
According to The Sun, the coaches were intercepted at a service station in the town of Cerignola, and three of them were then set alight. Fortunately, there are no reported injuries.
Such acts bring the dark days of football hooliganism back into sharp focus, and it can’t even be said that the teams are rivals given that Bari now play in the Serie D (fourth tier) after financial issues.
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With a handful of Serie A fixtures being postponed on Sunday because of fears over the spread of the coronavirus, Roma v Lecce was one of just two games to be played.
Bari, quite rightly, have come out to denounce those who perpetrated such an ugly incident, releasing a statement which called the actions of their supporters ‘vile and violent.’
‘SSC Bari intends to express the firmest condemnation for what happened today on the motorway section that connects Puglia to Campania,’ it read.
‘Any form of violence is to be condemned in the most absolute way; they are episodes that have nothing to do with the values ??that the red and white society and the city of Bari have always promoted and supported.
‘These episodes are to be condemned clearly and categorically. Those who have made themselves the protagonists of such vile and violent actions, have nothing to do with the civilisation and sportiness of most of Bari’s fans.
‘While waiting for the competent authorities to fully shed light on what actually happened, the Company expresses all their solidarity with the US Lecce and its fans, together with the best wishes for a speedy and complete recovery to any wounded.’
Episodi come quello di oggi sul tratto autostradale fra Puglia e Campania non hanno nulla a che vedere con i valori che la Società biancorossa e la città di Bari promuovono e sostengono. Il comunicato stampa ufficiale della SSC Bari. https://t.co/AC1aN99LGQ
— SSC Bari (@sscalciobari) February 23, 2020
Whether the club will face further sanctions from the authorities will be seen in due course.