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May 5, 2014

Prandelli shocked by hooliganism

Italy coach Cesare Prandelli has said he does not believe banning spectators is the answer to Italian football's hooliganism problem, but stressed that something must be done in the light of the violence prior to the Coppa Italia final.

Prandelli was present at the Stadio Olimpico as the game between Napoli and Roma was delayed by 45 minutes after a shooting amid clashes outside the ground , while the national anthem was drowned out by whistles.

"It's a problem for all of us and the only road to dealing with it is by dialogue, not by keeping people out completely," Prandelli told RAI radio on Monday. "Stadiums need to be locations for people to come together positively and not for pseudo-threats. Nobody should be the protagonists there other than the football itself.

"It's a problem in this country. The image we have given to the whole world is not representative of who we really are. It's our duty to help this country grow. The whole country needs to get involved, otherwise FIFA and UEFA will stop us like they did with the English."

Prandelli said he was "shocked and disappointed" by what had happened and had been frustrated to hear the national anthem whistled. 

He said: "I'm sure those whistles were just a build-up of the tension after hours waiting for news, but certainly when people whistle the national anthem it's anything but civilised behaviour."

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