The BBC asks a question that we are sure has been on everyone’s mind:
Why is there buttock stabbing in Rome?
Manchester United fans are in Rome for the Champions League final. When English teams have visited the Italian capital in recent years there have been a string of fans stabbed in the buttocks by hooligans. The practice even has its own slang name in the local Roman dialect – “puncicate“. But why is the backside targeted?
According to those who have researched the subject, a stab wound in the buttocks may be chosen as it is seen as not likely to be life-threatening, but is humiliating and painful for the victim. Experts believe the cultural tradition may even be linked to medieval duelling where slashing an opponent’s buttocks was supposedly considered very skilful. “Puncicate” is mainly about hurting rival fans but not killing them, says John Foot, a professor of modern Italian history at University College London and an author on Italian football. “They target the buttocks because the victim is not likely to die. These people don’t want to kill and be known as murderers, they want to show they can hurt their rivals and get away with it.”
1984: Liverpool fans stabbed by Roma fans in aftermath of victorious European Cup final
2001: In both February and December Liverpool fans stabbed in buttocks after matches against Roma
2006: Three Middlesbrough fans stabbed, including one in buttocks
2007: In April and December matches, several Manchester United fans stabbed in buttocks
2009: Manchester United fans stabbed in buttocks near ground
The Italian news site Panorama.it says:
A fan was stabbed in the thigh on Vitelleschi street, close to Piazza Risorgimento. Yet another man was stabbed on the Lungomare di Ostia before a pub: American tourists, was mistaken for an English supporter and assaulted by four young Italians.
(well, that’s our sloppy translation, anyway).
So: here’s one of the few times where if you are an American tourist in Rome, it’s actually helpful to let people know that you are an American tourist in Rome.
Here’s also, another reason why we think the soccer ball must have a strange radioactive substance at its center, which has bizarre effects on the behavior of unsuspecting Europeans. We have never heard of a Steelers fan stabbing a Patriots fan in the ass, although we are certain that somebody probably wants to do that to Belichick.
By the way, Manchester United got totally Pwned by Barcelona.
However, we are pleased to report that nobody died at the game.