and struck another sitting in the lower bleachers
during Thursday's Inter-AEK Athens UEFA Cup
tie. Luca Volpini, a 22 year-old, is in grave condition
at a Milan hospital after spending several hours in
the first aid room of San Siro as emergency medical
personnel fought to stabilize his condition.
The fan whom was struck by Volpini was also hos-
pitalized but is in considerably less serious condition.
Neurosurgeons are said to have been called to work
on Volpini, but no word on his nature or extent of his
injuries. The hospital is reserving any prognosis on his
condition for now.
Players on both sides realized that something was
seriously amiss in the stands after the third Inter goal
in the 3-1 win by the home team. During celebrations
of a fine score by Nicky Ventola, Volpini apparently
was too close to the edge of the balcony and somehow
slipped over and fell to the stands below. Javier Zanetti
joined his manager Hector Cuper in declarations of
concern for the stricken fan.
(The Greek team had opened the scoring with a superb
strike from 24 meters by Zagorakis who managed to send
a looping strike over the tall Inter keeper, Francesco Toldo,
and into the net. Inter played poorly for much of the first
half but managed to take a 2-1 lead into the locker room
due to a magnificent individual run by Javier Zanetti who
then beat AEK keeper Chiotis with a powerful shot to
the near post. They then took the lead at the 37th minute
after Alvaro Recoba hit a free kick into the area where it
bounced off Christian Vieri and directly to Mohammed
Kallon who, from ten meters, could pick from the whole
goal to shoot and easily beat the keeper. Then came the
fated third goal in which Clarence Seedorf struck a perfectly
weighted through pass to Nicky Ventola who finished in a
likewise superb manner to set the final score.)
Having sat in the upper bleachers at San Siro I know
this is a considerable distance - it is a minor miracle he
is still alive even now. I know that all of us at RSS join
the players and management of both teams in wishes
for the full recovery of the unfortunate lad.
- Paul Mettewie