ROME—Italian soccer fans who want to follow their favorite team on the road will now have to carry an official supporter card to gain entry into other stadiums, according to a new government regulation.
The directive that goes into effect in 2010 was established by Interior Minister Roberto Maroni. The directive specifies that stadiums with a capacity exceeding 7,500 spectators will have to provide special access lanes for card holders.
Soccer fans can get the supporter card after their soccer club receives confirmation from police headquarters confirming the fan has not been convicted for inappropriate behavior at a stadium in the last five years.
One advantage of the supporter card is that cardholders can enter the stadium even if the soccer match has restricted public access. In addition, entrance to the stadium is expected to be faster because of the special corridors reserved for registered supporters.
Italy is counted among the countries with the most soccer related violence, according to a report by the U.K.-based Social Issues Research Center. Other countries named were Britain, Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium. The 2005 report, "Football Hooligansim," says that roughly 10 percent of supporters can be classified as violent.