ROME (Reuters) – Italian soccer fans look upon matches as battles rather than sporting events, Napoli coach Carlo Ancelotti said Monday as he complained about rude and insulting behaviour in the country’s stadiums.
The 59-year-old returned to Serie A this year after a nine-year absence when he agreed to take charge of Napoli, having coached in England, Spain, France and Germany in the meantime.
“In Italy, we are behind the others on a cultural level,” he said during an event in Florence. “We think that a football match is a battle, when in fact it’s an event where there should be no place for rudeness.”
Ancelotti said he found much better behaviour during his travels outside the country.
“You are very unlikely to be insulted in England, while in France there isn’t the passion that exists in Spain and Italy… In Spain, there is a strong rivalry between Barcelona and Real Madrid but without the rudeness that exists in Italian stadiums.”
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho claimed he was insulted for the entire game during his side’s 2-1 win in Turin against Juventus in the Champions League on Wednesday.
Mourinho responded by cupping his ear in a gesture to the home fans at the end of the game.
Ancelotti suggested that matches should be stopped if the insults got out of hand.
“They can stop the match for rain and so it can be stopped for insults,” he said.
(Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Ken Ferris)