Published on 30 December 2020 in Blasphemy news

Italian authorities continue to crackdown on perceived ‘blasphemy’ on the pitch

In the month of December 2020, the Italian Football Association (FA) have taken action against at least two footballers accused of blaspheming on the pitch.

The Lega Serie A reportedly handed a one-match ban to Roma midfielder Bryan Cristante. The ban reportedly follows an outburst in which Cristante sweared after conceding an own goal during a match with Bologna on 13 December. Cristante’s outburst was reportedly caught on camera.

A week later, the FA announced it had launched an investigation into Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, who is alleged to have used a blasphemous phrase during a match against Parma. 

Buffon has previously been swept up in the authorities’ crackdown on blasphemy on the pitch, which began in 2010. Since then, the Italian FA has taken disciplinary action against several players and coaches heard disrespecting God or the sacred.

Blasphemy remains both a criminal and administrative offence in Italy, where penalties range from a fine of €51 (approx. US$60) to 2 years in prison.

The End Blasphemy Laws Coalition calls on the Italian authorities to repeal all its legislation pertaining to blasphemy.