9th of May 2010, Coming home to Livorno

On the 9th of May 2010 Livorno had his last match for the Seria A season 2009 / 10. On that day came Laziomerda. For that weekend we organised an antifascist meeting of international Amaranto Fans. We wanted to celebrate the 65th anniversary of victory over nazi-germany and support the livornes* the fascists from rome. Antifascists and Livorno Fans from Scandinavia, Scottland, England, Austria and from Germany came to Livorno. Here is the story of Martin member of the Partigiani Livornesi Scandinavia (PLS). The german and italian translation of that report was published in our first issue of the fanzine Diario di Dario. If someone wants a copy, just write. But now enjoy Martins very, very nice story.

I had dreamed about attending Livorno against Lazio at home ever since I first heard of Livorno and their fans in the beginning of 2005. This sunny weekend in May, 2010, would be the first, hopefully amongst many, time for me in Livorno.

I am originally from Stockholm, but at the time of the trip I was living in Nice, southern France. Two friends of mine and fellow members of PLS went a couple of days earlier to visit me while I was there. During the Friday that week we started our journey towards Italy and Livorno. We hadn’t really planned it much; we just bought a case of beer next to the station in Nice and got on the first train towards Italy, without ticket or anything. We didn’t really know much about how we were supposed to go; all we knew was that we had to switch trains in Genoa, where we also would meet three more PLS members coming from other Swedish cities.

Once we arrived to Genoa we realized that we would have to wait for our friends about eight hours. We had the time for a pizza and a couple of (way too many) beers, then our friends arrived and we took the next train to Livorno. Actually, I didn’t quite manage to get to Livorno right away as the others did, I arrived the day after, but that’s another story.

Finally I was there. In a sense it was strange to be in the place I had fantasized so much about, reality is always a bit different. After a couple hours of strolling we went to the famous Godzilla we had heard so much about. Some local guys watched us curiously when we entered, so we entered cautiously, just in case. It turned out to be completely unnecessary. Once we entered and introduced us we were suddenly part of one big family even though we had never seen the people that were there before. There was people from Scotland (BSL), Germany (Brigata Amaranto), supporters of Athletic Bilbao, AEK from Athens… people from all around Europe basically, and in the middle of all this, me and five friends from PLS . Everyone was mingling, it was like a big reunion in spite of the fact that most of the people there had never met. Later on we all ate dinner together at Godzilla, delicious food combined with chanting and huge amounts of red wine turned out to be a great combination. We went to the hotel quite early though, the day after was match day and we were supposed to meet outside Godzilla at 9 a.m.

It had been uncertain until just a couple of days before the game whether the Lazio fans were going to be permitted to attend the match or not. It turned out that they were allowed, which meant that the tension was quite high before the game. I remember walking by the away sector with a large group of livornesi towards Curva nord, we were quite far away from the Lazio fans and we couldn’t see them, but we could still hear that they were many and chanting outside the stadium in the area there is for away supporters. I especially remember hearing them chanting “duce, duce, duce!”. It made my blood boil; I have never felt such hatred at a football game.

Shortly before the game we gathered with the Livorno ultras outside of Curva nord. Apparently the ultras didn’t have tickets to the game, probably because of the Tessera di tifosi issue, but I’m not really sure, so when everyone was going to enter the stadium we ended up in a big stand-off between the ultras and the riot geared police. The police was forced to step back and we all entered the curva while chanting bandiera rossa. Soon after that I could see the Lazio fans on the opposite side with their Italian flags and fascist symbols. Such an incredible contrast, and I loved it. I don’t really remember much about the game, Livorno lost that I know, 2-0 or 2-1, I don’t remember if Livorno scored or not, but no one seemed to care anyway. Amaranto were relegated to Serie B already anyway, this game was all about antifascism. I remember Cristiano Lucarelli being substituted, though. He went to our end to give the fans his captain’s armband, at one point I was standing 1 meter away from him, just with nothing more than a piece of glass between us.

After the game I had time for a couple of beers and I got to know some more livornesi. They told me that the atmosphere had actually been quite bad at the game. I could tell because it wasn’t well-attended at all, although judging by the numbers I thought the atmosphere had been good. The fact that they thought so of course made me want to come back as soon as I could. Although I hear that the atmosphere has decreased very much since we were there I’m still eager to go back. There is something in Livorno; there was this spirit of fraternity and solidarity that I have never felt anywhere else. You felt as if you were at home. Livorno is home for me.

Martin,
Partigiani Livornesi Scandinavia,
Stockholm

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