It was an absurd moment in Genoa, Italy. The local Genoa team (seen in the video wearing the red and blue jerseys) were losing the game 4-0 against a weaker team from the city of Siena, famous for it’s Palio where different factions race their best jockey and horse in a frenetic and sometimes deadly race.
Towards the end of the game, Genoa’s Ultras, a fanatically passionate branch of the fans, invaded the soccer pitch, blocking the exit and forced the players to hand out the jerseys because as the Ultras claim, “They are not worthy of wearing them.”
The episode is the latest blow to Italian soccer, which is already reeling from a new match-fixing scandal currently centered on Serie B team Bari but which threatens to escalate as prosecutors continue their investigations.
On the video, players can be seen crying in desperation, some initially refusing to hand back their jerseys, most had to resort to take them off and hand them to the team’s physical therapist. It’s unsure what was done with the jerseys afterwards. The players were later allowed to leave the pitch under the crowd’s whistles. In Italy, being whistled at is the same as being booed in America.
Too bad our politicians don’t wear any team jerseys…