Milan hoping inspectors OK safety upgrades
MILAN, Italy -- AC Milan hopes some fans will be allowed into San Siro on Sunday despite the stadium being closed by government inspectors for safety reasons.
"The technicians and laborers were at work all last night," Milan spokesman Anthony Sogus said Friday. "We hope to have finished enough of the work by Saturday morning, when the inspectors return, to permit at least season ticket holders to attend the game against Livorno."
Milan's sport and security assessor Giovanni Terzi added that the club was installing 28 turnstiles to allow "at least 50,000" people to enter the arena on Sunday.
San Siro, which is also home to Inter Milan, was one of 25 stadiums in Italy's top two divisions closed on Thursday for failing to meet new security standards -- approved by the government after the killing of a policeman in rioting at a Serie A game between Catania and Palermo on Feb. 2.
The safety requirements include having closed circuit surveillance cameras and turnstiles at the entrances.
In a statement on its Web site, Milan said the government's decision to include season ticket holders in the stadium ban was "absurd."
Further checks on stadiums are scheduled to be conducted Saturday, although the majority of this weekend's 21 matches in Italy's top two divisions are expected to take place behind closed doors.
"We are hoping to receive good news by Saturday evening," Milan striker Alberto Gilardino said. "There is something missing from the game without the fans."
Italy premier Romano Prodi has said there will be no exceptions.
"I say no exception," Prodi said in an interview with AP Television News. "My decision is let's be severe with everybody."