The Calabrian derby between Cosenza and Reggina at the Stadio San Vito-Gigi Marulla in Serie B on Tuesday night took on added importance, with the news that the hosts will donate the proceeds from the clash to the victims of the Steccato di Cutro tragedy.
In the early hours of Sunday morning, locals rushed to the beach in Calabria 100km south of the stadium, after a fisher reported a boat in distress. However, the waves had already destroyed the compact wooden vessel, and it has been confirmed, so far, that 64 people, including 18 children, have died.
It is believed that the boat had departed the Izmir port of Turkey four days earlier, carrying refugees from Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran and Pakistan. As reported by Gazzetta del Sud, some help will be on the way for the victims.
Fan protest will hit contribution
Unfortunately, while the victims of the tragedy will welcome any support the gesture might bring, there is due to be a limited presence as Cosenza try to lift themselves off the foot of the second tier, and their local rivals are the opponents.
The Silani supporters had already planned to stay at home in protest against president Eugenio Guarascio and how his stewardship appears to be taking them back down the Italian pyramid.
In contrast, Gli Amaranto sit fourth in the table and perfectly placed for an assault on a Serie A place, but leaders Frosinone do have a nine-point lead over nearest challengers Genoa.
Refugees and Italian football
With Italy having been one of the points of entry into Europe for migrants and asylum seekers over the past decade and beyond, there has been an increase in the number of players who come from a difficult past.
Players such as Hellas Verona’s Yayah Kallon, Ivorian brothers Amad Diallo and Hamed Traore who recently played for Atalanta and Sassuolo respectively, as well as AS Roma’s Ebrima Darboe have all endured difficult journeys to Italy and tough beginnings in the country.
There will be hope that the rescued adults and children from this latest tragedy will be able to build a life for themselves in Italy away from war and poverty.