Azzurri Withdraw from Calcio Storico

Calcio Storico is a Florentine soccer game where each neighborhood of the historical center, divided into four teams, compete. This year, Rossi (Santa Maria Novella), Bianchi, (Santo Spirito) and Verdi (San Giovanni) will participate as expected; after a violent incident that occurred last summer, the Azzurri will not be on their home playing field of Piazza Santa Croce.

During the June 10, 2017 match, the Azzurri team players began to kick and punch their Bianchi opponents and assaulted three referees to the point where police had to intervene and stop the match.

The first game this year, scheduled for Saturday, June 9 at 5 pm, will be slightly different. The Rossi will play a demonstration match (essentially a trial match) against selected members from the Bianchi and Verdi team, together as one squad. The Rossi, previously scheduled to play against the Azzurri, will be now automatically sent to the finals.

The Azzurri, who were not necessarily disqualified from this 2018 semifinal match, but withdrew out of protest because of a portion of their members were disqualified last year. Because of this decision, The Azzurri are at risk to lose their headquarters and training camp. This was announced after the sport commissioner Andrea Vannucci and the President of Calcio Storico, Michele Pierguidi, reviewed the match’s video.

Aggressive actions may have taken place last year, yet the Azzurri do not deny that they may have acted badly, insisting that their withdrawal from the tournament this year is not an act of blackmail. They do, however, claim though, that there were misinterpreted actions on the field that led to faulty reactions, leading to several disqualifications, and the current decision.  (jennifer klammer)