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FA Cup quarterfinal draw

FA Cup
By ESPN Staff

New security measures in place for Italy

Feb 7 (Reuters) - Italy's government has announced tough new security measures for the country's football stadiums following a policeman's death during a riot at a Serie A match between Catania and Palermo on Friday.

The measures will become law if approved at a meeting of the Italian cabinet on Wednesday, which could lead to closed-door matches until they are fully or partly implemented.

Following are the new measures outlined by the Italian soccer federation, which discussed the rule changes with the government:

• A ban on the block sale of tickets to away fans to avoid large groups of visiting supporters organising trips to away fixtures.

• A toughening-up of the system of banning orders currently used against violent fans, who will face bans from stadiums for three to five years without being found guilty of any offence.

• Under-18s will also now face bans.

• Those subject to stadium bans must undertake "socially useful" work during the hours when matches are being played.

• The police can make football violence-related arrests without a warrant up to 48 hours after a crime has been committed, extending the current limit by 12 hours.

• A prohibition of any financial or working relationship between clubs and fan associations.

• The creation of a new watchdog to monitor declarations by anyone involved in the game, including club officials and sports media.

• The privatisation of Italy's stadiums, which are currently owned by city councils instead of the clubs.

Authorities will also demand clubs conform to the existing Pisanu Law, introduced in 2005 and aimed at curbing the worst violence in stadiums. Most clubs, however, do not own their stadiums and have refused to implement the law, arguing that the city councils who own the venues should pay for the work.

The main points of the Pisanu law are: numbered seating; electronic turnstiles activated by a ticket; closed-circuit TV surveillance inside and outside the stadium; transparent barriers separating different sectors of the stadium and home fans from away fans; a dedicated area for the police to oversee security; and one first-aid point for every 10,000 fans.

Stadiums with a capacity under 10,000 were exempt from the Pisanu law. Under the new regulations, smaller grounds would also have to conform to the law.