They cancel the number 88 shirt, but nobody kicks racists and anti-Semites out of the stadiums

They cancel the number 88 shirt, but nobody kicks racists and anti-Semites out of the stadiums

In the bingo of Italian football a number will be missing forever, 88. The government, through the voice of the Minister of the Interior, Matteo Piantedosi, in a "declaration of intent against anti-Semitism" established that no player can wear the shirt with that number anymore. Because 88 is a neo-Nazi reference, the eighth letter of the alphabet is H, and two Hs would mean “Heil Hitler”.

An end to chants against Jews and racism in stadiums? Let's hope. Willingness to immediately stop matches in front of certain episodes? It would be nice. After all, this rule already exists and Piantedosi's "declaration of intent" only reiterates it. Unfortunately, however, the consolidated practice of looking the other way (the referees, and not only) does not encourage optimism too much.

Hitlerson and racism: why we need a sports judge within us

by Gabriele Romagnoli

Anti-Semitism and football: the Hitlerson case

And then: is the footballer who chooses and wears (wore) the number 88 a neo-Nazi for sure? Let some doubts arise. The carriers, certainly healthy, of 88 in the last A championship were Mario Pasalic of Atalanta and Tom Basic of Lazio. They have numbers, especially Pasalic, so they'll wear another one.

With the premise that every action against racists and anti-Semites is right in itself, this 1988 thing that sprouts like a mushroom at the end of June is a little perplexing, because it looks like an easy shortcut to a good figure. Football, a stain remover of consciences? Since intentions are not declared but are implemented, we would like the famous zero tolerance not towards an athlete in all likelihood unaware of the symbolisms, but against real provocateurs: such as the Lazio ultras who showed up at the Olimpico in the last derby with the writing "Hitlerson" on the shirt, actually a number 88.

This story of the double 8 caused some trouble even for a legend of blue football like Gigi Buffon, who as a beardless Parma goalkeeper had the idea of ​​wearing number 88 (it was the 2000/2001 season). Since ours had already displayed an "executioner who quits" on the t-shirt, it wasn't enough for him to explain that for him 88 meant "double attributes" (the shape is more or less the same), and in short, in the end he had to change buses and take the 77: which in bingo alludes to women's legs, and on this subject Buffon has always been an undisputed point of reference.

Ruth Dureghello denounces anti-Semitic choirs in the North curve during the Lazio-Rome derby

Racism and anti-Semitism: stopping matches in Serie A

With all due respect to the Meloni government, not exactly an example of the fight against fascism, we cannot think that other, more or less illustrious, number 88s in Serie A were dangerous followers of the Führer. Let's exclude that Hernanes or Rincon, Borriello or Praszelik greeted relatives and friends with outstretched arms and privately drew their mustaches with charcoal.

Let it be clear that the topic is very serious, and for this very reason it cannot be reduced to a summer declaration of intent. In the last championship we experienced unacceptable and very sad moments in the Milan and Rome derbies, in Fiorentina-Juventus, Psg-Juventus and Lazio-Turin, not to mention the racist chants against Lukaku and Vlahovic, also booked by the referee. Never that anything has happened or changed, during and after episodes far more serious than a hypothetical connection between the number 88 (in the Grimace, “'e casecavalle”, i caciocavalli) and Hitler. If anything, swastikas and runic crosses should be avoided from entering the stadium, and from there the racists and the violent, filmed and identified, should be driven out. Shoo, out of here for at least 88 years.

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