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Jan 20, 2014

Bologna given suspended ban

The Lega Serie A has issued Bologna with a partial stadium ban - suspended for one year -- after a section of their supporters were observed chanting "territorial'' abuse towards visiting Napoli fans.

During Sunday's league game at the Stadio Renato Dall'Ara, which saw hosts Bologna secure a 2-2 draw through a late goal from Rolando Bianchi, stadium officials were able to certify that fans in the stadium's north stand -- the Curva Bulgarelli -- had sung an offensive chant and displayed a banner urging Mount Vesuvius to harm Neapolitan people.

The active volcano lies only six miles away from Naples and devastated the southern city when erupting in 1906.

Bologna have been held objectively responsible for the abuse but will not be forced to close the north stand for their upcoming home game against Udinese as the transgression is considered a first offence under new legislation.

A Lega statement read: "Prior to the start of the game, from the Curva Bulgarelli -- which is occupied by supporters of Bologna -- a chant arose: 'Oh Vesuvius, wash them all with fire'.

"The chant was repeated in the 10th and 24th minutes of the first half and could be heard by everyone in the stadium. One observer was situated among the Bologna fans, one near the halfway line, and the other among the Napoli fans.

"Also, from the 25th to the 45th minute of the second half, a banner was unveiled which read 'It will be a pleasure when Vesuvius does its duty'. "Such conduct clearly constitutes the extremes of 'discriminatory behaviour on the grounds of territorial origin'.

"Noting that it is a first offence in violation of the rules of conduct it seems fair to suspend the application of the sanction, given the ongoing collaboration provided by the club to the police in the prevention of manifestations of violence and discrimination.

"The resolution is that Bologna are obliged to play a game with the Curva Bulgarelli closed to spectators, with the application of the penalty suspended for a period of one year with the caveat that, should a similar violation be committed during this period, the suspension will be lifted and the penalty will be added to the one imposed for any new offence.''

Juventus, AC Milan and Inter Milan are among the other Serie A clubs who have been threatened with partial stadium bans this season following incidents of either racial or territorial abuse from supporters.

Lega president Maurizio Beretta last month pledged to reassess the rules that have led to the increase in stadium closures after admitting the system was proving largely ineffective in identifying the individuals responsible.

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