16 October 2012
Hardcore football fans in Naples, known as ultras, have sent a warning to the owners of the club against selling tickets online. Many of these ultras are involved in crime syndicates which sell tickets at inflated prices, which could be threatened if tickets can be sold online.
Click to hear the report
Matchday at the San Paulo stadium in Naples: a cauldron of footballing passion and spiritual home to 60,000 dedicated Napoli supporters. But a vast banner unfurled at the team's last home game hinted at a darker side to Neapolitans' love of football. "Tickets online," it read. "Never!" The message was the work of a group of diehard Napoli ultras.
The reason for their opposition to online ticket sales is simple: some ultras, long-linked with the local Camorra crime syndicate, make a killing out of buying up batches of tickets, then selling them on to eager fans for up to three times their face value. Online sales could help put an end to that.
The scam was highlighted last season when tickets went on sale for Napoli's Champions League match against Chelsea. Camorra-backed thugs bullied their way to the front of the queue, leaving many fans empty-handed, after a 12-hour wait for the chance to see their heroes in action against the London club.
Click to hear the vocabulary
pot used for boiling liquid
- spiritual home
a place people feel they belong
very committed to a cause
extremely enthusiastic fans
- make a killing
earn a lot of money
- face value
the advertised price
violent or aggressive people
unsuccessful (at acquiring something)