Hellas Verona fans reveal 'shameful' banner at Napoli game featuring Russian flag
The banner also showed the coordinates of the city of Naples
The ultras group of Italian side Hellas Verona have been condemned after images revealed a shocking banner which referenced Napoli and Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
During their fixture on Sunday, which Napoli won 2-1, a banner was spotted that featured the coordinates of the city of Naples as well as the flags of both Russia and Ukraine.
Hellas Verona fans sinking to new lows with this banner before today's match against Napoli.
With the Russia and Ukraine flags + coordinates of Naples, appearing to suggest the Italian city should be targeted.#VeronaNapoli pic.twitter.com/4FVlFR2XdJ
— Sacha Pisani (@Sachk0) March 13, 2022
Although unconfirmed, it is believed that the banner was inciting that a similar attack to the ones Russia have carried out on multiple locations in Ukraine should take place.
The banner has been publicly condemned with Napoli boss Luciano Spalletti insisting that the fans who made it should "never set foot in a stadium again."
Before the game, Hellas Verona's Twitter account had posted a message which read "Hellas for Peace. Always," as well as wearing training tops featuring the same message.
— Hellas Verona FC (@HellasVeronaFC) March 14, 2022
High-ranking figures in Italy have also condemned the actions, with Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio tweeting: "A disgusting message.
"The banner against Napoli and the Neapolitans displayed by supporters, or presumed as such, of Hellas Verona is serious and must be condemned by all, without distinction and without justification. This war is real, it is not fiction, it is not a game."
Un messaggio ripugnante.
Lo striscione contro #Napoli e i napoletani esposto da tifosi, o presunti tali, dell’Hellas Verona è grave e va condannato da tutti, senza distinguo e senza giustificazioni.
Questa guerra è reale, non è finzione, non è un gioco: https://t.co/RUbdFufipC
— Luigi Di Maio (@luigidimaio) March 13, 2022
Luca Zaia, governor of the Veneto region which includes Verona, also spoke out against the banner and described the act as "shameful," as reported by the Mail.
"Verona and the Veronese are always a symbol of welcome and solidarity," he explained before adding the work of that "associations, local institutions, families or health authorities which are doing their utmost in these days to host, help and care for those fleeing this crazy war."
Meanwhile the head of Serie A, Luigi De Siervo slammed the banner in a message which said: "Serie A condemns the banner that popped up in Verona. In a tragic time like this, only idiots could imagine such a thing."
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