Brescia, descent and hell: pitched battle and players threatened with knives

Brescia is experiencing the saddest days in its history. After 38 years, the ensemble that was Roberto Baggio and Pep Guardiola were relegated to Serie C due to a 1-1 draw with Cosenza in the decisive playout last Friday. The sporting result, however, only becomes a detail regarding everything that has happened in the Rigamonti stadium. With two minutes to go before the final whistle, and with the home team attacking in search of the goal, flares and firecrackers began to rain from the Curva Nord, while the local ultras invaded the pitch. The referee took the players to the changing rooms and, shortly after, decreed the end of the game: returning to the green, under those conditions, was impossible. The Brescia ultras began a pitched battle with the police inside and outside the stadium, also seeking contact with the rival fans, while journalists, photographers and players were locked inside the stadium, hostages of the violence. According to ‘La Gazzetta dello Sport’, one of the Brescia players was threatened with a knife and French defender Matthieu Huard’s car was destroyed and burned.

Only after one o’clock in the morning could the field be evacuated, with the forces of order also having to deal with a group of ultras who tried to force the doors leading to the changing rooms. The sad balance was five police officers injured and several cars destroyed. Luca Capaldo, secretary of the Padua Police union, angrily denounced what happened: “More than a statement, it is a balance of war. An agent was seriously injured, the Italian stadiums are more and more theaters of guerillas. All the good that had been done in the management of sporting events is disappearing: we ask for new measures”.

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