The Italian FA want to use LISTENING DEVICES to fight racist chanting in Serie A after five cases of abuse this season with Inter Milan striker Romelu Lukaku among the targets
The Italian football federation is considering employing advanced listening devices used in anti-terrorism operations to identify offending fans after five cases of racist chants in Serie A this season.
Federation president Gabriele Gravina has detailed ‘a passive radar device that uses directional microphones to determine the source of the noise’.
Offensive chants have been aimed at Romelu Lukaku, Franck Kessie, Dalbert Henrique, Ronaldo Viera and Miralem Pjanic in Serie A this season.
Italian FA chief Gabriel Gavina wants listening devices to root out racist abuse from the stands
He added: ‘It can immediately determine who is making a racist chant – or it can illustrate the trajectory of fireworks.’
Gravina said that the tool being considered requires two panels per stadium section, is not overly expensive and is made by an Italian company.
He said the only obstacle is Italy’s privacy laws, ‘because (the device) can also listen to private conversations inside the stadium’.
The federation is coordinating with the Interior Ministry with the aim of testing the tools during Italy’s European Championship qualifier against Armenia in Palermo, Sicily, next month.
Romelu Lukaku has spoken out against racist chanting aimed at him in Serie A this season
AC Milan midfielder Franck Kessie has also been the subject of monkey chants from some fans
Lukaku, Kessie, Dalbert, and Vieira were all targeted with monkey chants. Pjanic, a Bosnia international who is white, was called a ‘Gypsy’.
But Serie A and the federation have not consistently handed out penalties to the clubs whose fans were responsible or the offending fans themselves.
‘This device allows you to perfectly distinguish a single voice,’ Gravina said. ‘We would like to use this tool so that people who want to ruin the dignity of Italian and international football know that they can easily be identified and therefore punished.
Ex-Juventus striker Moise Kean had an altercation with Cagliari fans last season after abuse
‘Our protocol is very strict but at times we can’t identify in detail those responsible,’ Gravina added. ‘So we need to rely on technology.’
Gravina first detailed the possible use of the devices in an interview with Italian daily La Repubblica on Monday and added further detail in a news conference.