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Lawyer hits out as banners taunt dead fan's mother

Antonella Leardi’s lawyer, Angelo Pisani, called for those brandishing the signs to be punished.

People follow the coffin draped in Napoli shirts and scarves during the funeral of Ciro Esposito.
People follow the coffin draped in Napoli shirts and scarves during the funeral of Ciro Esposito.
Image: AP/Press Association Images

A LAWYER FOR the family of a Napoli fan shot and killed by a Roma ‘ultra’ supporter last year has called for action to be taken  after “insulting and offensive banners” were displayed by Giallorossi fans in the Serie A sides’ clash on Saturday.

Napoli fan Ciro Esposito was shot by 48-year-old Roma ‘ultra’ Daniele De Santis on May 3, 2014 as violence broke out on the fringes of the Italian Cup final between Napoli and Fiorentina. The 30-year-old died in hospital six weeks later.

Almost a year after the shooting, tensions remain high between the supporters of both clubs. At Saturday’s ‘Derby del Sole’ (Derby of the Sun), travelling Napoli fans were banned from attending as authorities feared trouble.

It was the first time Roma had hosted Napoli since Esposito’s death, but some Roma fans seemed intent on not letting the matter lie.

One of the many banners brandished at the Stadio Olimpico took aim at Esposito’s mother, Antonella Leardi, for her decision to publish a book about her son. Called ‘Ciro Vive’ (Ciro Lives), it was released earlier this week.

One banner read: “First the book, next the film.” Another read: “How sad, you’re making money from the funeral with books and interviews.”

Leardi’s lawyer, Angelo Pisani, called for those brandishing the banners to be punished.

“Those responsible for the insulting and offensive banners should be punished. They should be banned from a stadium which, unfortunately, is all too often characterised by negative and dangerous banners,” said Pisani.

Leardi was quoted as saying on the website of Gazzetta dello Sport: “I saw the game on television. It hurt to see these messages and other horrible things about a son that I’ve lost.”

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Pisani added: “Whichever commission allowed the club to allow messages spouting violence, hatred and racism should resign.”

© AFP 2015

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