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Italy Passes Soccer Violence Law

October 17, 2001

ROME (AP) _ A new law aimed at curbing soccer fan violence got final approval Wednesday from the Italian Senate despite complaints that it had been watered down by amendments.

The package of measures _ modeled on similar legislation in Britain and France __ was enacted in response to last season’s increased violence in soccer stadiums across Italy.

Under the new law, people who throw objects in the stadium face three to six months in jail and people who storm the field can be jailed for up to six months.

The government also approved the deployment of up to 11,000 police officers at soccer games.

Senators on both sides of the aisle complained that amendments in the lower house of parliament had weakened the proposal.

One amendment makes it harder to arrest people who were caught on tape or film taking part in violence. Another eliminated automatic jail time for people who storm the field.

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