Euro 2020: Concern about virus spread after Italy players’ ‘unauthorised’ victory parade through Rome

Italy’s national football team reportedly insisted on taking an open-top bus tour through Rome to show off their European Championship trophy to crowds of fans - despite city authorities forbidding it amid concern about the spread of coronavirus.

Euro 2020: Concern about virus spread after Italy players' ‘unauthorised’ victory parade through Rome
Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP

The team’s bus parade through the city on Monday night following their Euro 2020 triumph “was not authorised”, according to Matteo Piantedosi the head of Rome’s prefettura (the public safety authority).

Thousands of fans packed the streets of central Rome to see the team celebrate their cup win after beating England on penalties in the final.

READ ALSO: ‘Football came home’: Italy celebrates Euro 2020 victory over England

Piantedosi told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera on Wednesday: “We had denied permission to celebrate Italy’s victory in the European Championships on the open bus, but the pact was not respected.”

Piantedosi, who is Rome’s top public security official, said police had “no choice” but to let the parade go ahead after players Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci insisted on it.

Photo: Vincenzo Pinto/AFP

A meeting had been held on Friday with the Italian football federation (FIGC) to discuss plans for the celebrations if Italy won, said Piantedosi.

“I had agreed the line with Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese and Chief of Police Lamberto Giannini,” he said.

“It was clearly explained that [the parade] was not possible. We said we could not authorize it.”

Piantedosi said the Italian football federation (FIGC) initially agreed to hold a “controlled” ceremony in Rome’s central Piazza del Popolo instead of the parade.

After players insisted on the bus tour on Monday however, Piantedosi said, authorities reluctantly let them go ahead due to fears of sparking public disorder.

“At that point we had no choice but to acknowledge the situation and handle it in the best way we could,” he said.

READ ALSO: Covid cases on the rise in Europe once again as WHO warns of Euro 2020 risk

Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

In a statement on Wednesday, the FIGC said it had acted responsibly but decided not to disappoint fans who had come to celebrate with the team.

Footage of large crowds thronging the bus carrying the ‘Azzurri’ and the European Championship trophy through the capital however fuelled concerns about new outbreaks of coronavirus, after Italy’s infection rate began to rise again last week.

The World Health Organization warned earlier this month that crowds and gatherings connected to football matches will fuel a new rise in cases across Europe this summer.

READ ALSO: Delta variant in Italy will be ‘prevalent within 10 days’: health official

Italy’s health minister Roberto Speranza also voiced concerns on Monday about the consequences of people gathering to watch sporting events.

He said the European football championship win was “a great joy after terrible months,” but “even in these moments of national pride we can’t forget that our ‘game’ to defeat Covid is not yet won.”

There are currently minimal health restrictions in place across Italy, however masks are supposed to be worn in crowded public places, including outdoors.

“Footage shows that police were virtually the only ones [in the crowd] wearing masks,” said Piantedosi.

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Danish parties agree to raise abortion limit to 18 weeks

Denmark's government has struck a deal with four other parties to raise the point in a pregnancy from which a foetus can be aborted from 12 weeks to 18 weeks, in the first big change to Danish abortion law in 50 years.

Danish parties agree to raise abortion limit to 18 weeks

The government struck the deal with the Socialist Left Party, the Red Green Alliance, the Social Liberal Party and the Alternative party, last week with the formal announcement made on Monday  

“In terms of health, there is no evidence for the current week limit, nor is there anything to suggest that there will be significantly more or later abortions by moving the week limit,” Sophie Løhde, Denmark’s Minister of the Interior and Health, said in a press release announcing the deal.

The move follows the recommendations of Denmark’s Ethics Council, which in September 2023 proposed raising the term limit, pointing out that Denmark had one of the most restrictive abortion laws in Western Europe. 


Under the deal, the seven parties, together with the Liberal Alliance and the Conservatives, have also entered into an agreement to replace the five regional abortion bodies with a new national abortion board, which will be based in Aarhus. 

From July 1st, 2025, this new board will be able to grant permission for abortions after the 18th week of pregnancy if there are special considerations to take into account. 

The parties have also agreed to grant 15-17-year-olds the right to have an abortion without parental consent or permission from the abortion board.

Marie Bjerre, Denmark’s minister for Digitalization and Equality, said in the press release that this followed logically from the age of sexual consent, which is 15 years old in Denmark. 

“Choosing whether to have an abortion is a difficult situation, and I hope that young women would get the support of their parents. But if there is disagreement, it must ultimately be the young woman’s own decision whether she wants to be a mother,” she said. 

The bill will be tabled in parliament over the coming year with the changes then coming into force on June 1st, 2025.

The right to free abortion was introduced in Denmark in 1973.