Feyenoord supporters caused international outrage when they damaged a 17th century fountain in Rome while partying before a Europa League match last month, prompting the mayors of Rome and Florence to launch a new initiative to try and get visiting football fans to be more respectful.
Tickets for the upcoming Roma-Fiorentina Europa League matches can be used to gain free entry into several museums in the two cities, in the hopes that a cultural appreciation for their surroundings will convince visiting fans to be less destructive.
From the BBC:
“After the terrible events of the past weeks, culminating with the violence and devastation in the city centre, we want to transform the next dates into something radically different,” says a statement on Mr Marino’s website. “A match can and should be preceded by an awareness of the beauty of the host city.” Florence Mayor Dario Nardella has thanked a radio host for suggested the idea of linking culture with sport. “Culture can help to teach real values,” he told Radio 24, adding that if fans are amazed by a city’s heritage, “they’ll also behave better when they go to cheer on their team.”
It’s a lovely thought and a novel idea, but it seems like that this will just lead to drunken idiots ravaging museums instead of limiting themselves to outdoor landmarks.