Torrential rain, storms and flash floods have caused havoc for over a week in many parts of Italy. Turin, Milan and Naples have all been affected but it is in Genoa that the conditions have proved most fatal. Needless to say this was the reason for the cancellation of Genoa v Inter and Napoli v Juventus last weekend.
Three days ago Italian authorities had issued fresh weather warnings advising millions of people from Milan to Venice to prepare for more a new bout of flooding. The conditions are set to continue their devastating path of destruction that last week saw fatalities in Naples and to an even greater extent in Genoa, a place that had experienced extreme floods in 1970, 1992 and now this time, where one third of their annual rainfall in just twelve hours. The photo above, released by the Vigili del Fuoco (Fire service), shows a flooded Stadio Luigi Ferraris.
In Naples, the game against Juventus was postponed after a man lost his life when a tree fell on his car. In Genoa six people so far have lost their lives as two rivers burst their banks, leaving TV crews filming apocalyptic scenes of water rushing through the streets, carrying debris and cars along with it. Genoa v Inter has been re-arranged for December 13th.
Tributes have started to pour out from concerned players in Serie A. Inter’s Diego Milito, who is an ex-Genoa player, told the Inter website: “I feel very close to the people in Genoa and in the entire region of Liguria. I hold them in my heart. Genoa was the first city that I came to, and the people there supported me when I still had no family in Italy. I’m grateful to the people of Genoa and the team. I want to send them my embraces and I’m supporting them.” Inter midfielder Andrea Poli, who is on loan from Sampdoria, also gave his condolences to all the people of Liguria stating that the flood victims need as much support as possible.
Claudio Ranieri summed up the feeling not only from the Inter camp but also for the whole nation when he told the Inter Channel: “Seeing the images from Genoa just hits you in the heart, so we are close to the people and our thoughts go to those suffering at this time. Obviously football takes a step back. Unfortunately we see that every three or four years something like that happens. This time it was a catastrophe. I hope lessons can be learned to prevent further problems.”
The moved fixture to December 13th will not come as welcoming news to the Inter management. From a solely footballing perspective this will hamper Inter’s Christmas schedule which starts on December 3rd at home to Udinese and finishes on December 21st against Lecce. This will total six games in eighteen days and include a Champions League tie against CSKA Moscow.