The ‘forbidden’ Azzurri parade: ‘The FIGC didn’t respect the agreements’

The prefect of Rome Matteo Piantedosi has revealed the FIGC ‘didn’t respect the agreements’, as the Azzurri’s parade in the Italian capital was not authorised by the local authorities.

The prefect of Rome spoke about the Azzurri’s celebrations in the capital after winning the European Championship and why the authorities didn’t stop the open bus from parading the streets of the Eternal City.

“They had assured us a platform in Piazza del Popolo. Blocking them would have created problems of public order,” Piantedosi told Corriere della Sera. “We had denied permission to celebrate Italy’s victory in the European Championship on the open bus, but the agreements were not respected.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the local authorities wanted to avoid mass gatherings in the strees and the prefect was obviously not happy about what happened on Monday and the ‘possible consequences that could occur in the coming weeks, despite the great work done’.

The Azzurri party | Italy parade Rome in an open top bus

When asked if Italy weren’t supposed to celebrate, he replied: “Yes, of course. But in different ways.

“Last Friday we convened a committee for order and security. I had agreed on the line with the Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese and the with police chief Lamberto Giannini.

“The meeting was precisely to decide what to do and for this reason we also directly involved the FIGC.

“The FIGC asked to allow the athletes of the national team to travel around Rome on an open bus, but it was clearly explained that it was not possible. We said we couldn’t authorise them.

“We had to manage the transition from the Quirinale to Palazzo Chigi, trying to reconcile it with the security needs linked to the pandemic and therefore avoid gatherings in any way.”

The prefect continued to explain the different solutions discussed with the FIGC.

“On Monday morning, the FIGC proposed various solutions, the last of which was to use a platform to be assembled in Piazza del Popolo, in the centre of Rome, where the players could celebrate with the fans.

“We felt that it could be a viable mediation because it allowed us to keep the crowd under control in one place, also verifying that people were wearing masks as required by the decree in force when there are gatherings.”

But the Azzurri decided against the platform in Piazza del Popolo and chose to travel the streets of Rome on an open top bus.

“In the early afternoon of Monday we had other direct contacts with the FIGC staff who renewed the request to be able to use the open bus,” Piantedosi continued.

“We explained to everyone that the evaluations had not changed. We thought they would have the players stopped in front of Palazzo Chigi after meeting with Prime Minister Mario Draghi.

“We were assured that the transfer would take place in a covered bus. Instead, shortly after leaving the Quirinale, an open-top bus with the banners and letters dedicated to the European champions joined in.”

The prefect of Rome said he contacted the FIGC President Gabriele Gravina and revealed it would have ‘created problems of public order’ had the authorities stopped the Azzurri parade.

“They argued there was already a lot of crowds on the streets anyway,” he said. “And the players had a strong intention to continue the celebrations with a ride on an open bus.

“There were thousands of people waiting for the bus ride, banning it could have created problems of public order.”