Genoa v Sampdoria: Fans boycott derby over early start

Genoa v Sampdoria

Genoa's derby with Sampdoria next Sunday is being boycotted by supporters' groups on both sides because of the early kick-off time.

The match at Stadio Luigi Ferraris is kicking off at 12:30 local time (11:30 GMT) on 2 February so that it can be shown live on television.

"To play the derby at 12:30 is an atrocious decision," wrote Genoa's ultras, their hardcore fans.

Sampdoria's Ultras Tito Cucchiaroni said: "A derby at 12:30 is an insult."

It added: "The Genoa derby is historically low on technical quality. The value of the derby is the atmosphere that has few equals in the world and it's this that the television is selling.

"We won't accept this outrage. We believe that we are the stars of this show, so how much will the show be worth without the fans? We'll know at 14:15 on Sunday, 2 February, because we won't be going."

As well as the ultras, the Associazione Club Genoani, a group covering 182 worldwide Genoa supporters clubs, has also called for a boycott.

Genoa are technically the home team, although both sides play their home matches at the stadium.

A Sampdoria spokesman said: "If the football league decides that we're playing at 12:30 on 2 February then we're playing at 12:30 on 2 February and that's all there is to it."

In 2010, Parma fans protested an early kick-off with Roma by bringing packed lunches to the match.

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