Nettles, footballs, and pandects

By Emanuele Calò*

On 23rd May 2022, the Italian newspaper La Repubblica reported: “‘To the synagogue you go pray/ I will always make you run away’. That was chanted loudly in the Ponte Milvio square in Rome during the pregame, then the chorus raised powerfully from the steps of the North stand, followed by the stands as well”.
Article 62 of the Internal Organizational Rules of the Italian Football Federation (Federazione Italiana Gioco Calcio) orders procedures in cases of “stadium chants, shouts and any other manifestation expressing discrimination on grounds of race, colour, religion, language, sex, nationality, territorial or ethnic origin, or constituting ideological propaganda prohibited by law or in any case advocating discriminatory behaviour”. Paragraph 14 of the aforementioned article states that “The non-start, temporary interruption and suspension of the match may not extend beyond 45 minutes, after which the referee will declare the match closed, reporting the facts that have occurred in his report, and the Sports Justice Bodies will adopt the sanctions provided for by Article 17 of the Sports Justice Code, without prejudice to the application of the other sanctions provided for by the Sports Justice Code for such facts”.
Why does the rule not apply? We read in a recent work: “Grossi, Un impegno per il giurista di oggi: ripensare le fonti del diritto, Napoli, 2008, p. 65 ff., who observes ‘the principle of effectiveness, sovereign in every age of transition, has now become a canon of measurement of legality’ (our emphasis, in: Rita Rolli, Il diritto privato nella società 4.0, Kluwer, 2022, p. 8, footnote 5).
Not only Jews: in the same competition, a steward guilty of not having light enough skin, who was the target of rudeness, was advised to move.
Of two things: either the rules providing for the suspension of the match are repealed or they are enforced. Because there is a great risk that by dint of believing in improbable explanations, one no longer distinguishes between reality and fantasy. I say this for bi-corporate reasons, and thus to defend the jury, so little considered and, in the end, humiliated. In a country with an uncountable number of lawyers, let us suspend the competitions and put an end to them as well, out of pity for those who, after all, have thrown away their time flipping through the pandects. From a scientific point of view, I could add a few hints about critical theory and its application in the legal sphere, but I fear that would at most only interest my close relatives.

*Legal expert

Translated by Francesca Angelucci, revised by Maria Cianciuolo, students at the Secondary School of Modern Languages for Interpreters and Translators of the University of Trieste, interns at the newspaper office of the Union of the Italian Jewish Communities – Pagine Ebraiche.