12.27.10

The Club World Cup Was Good For Something After All : Serial Pitch Invader Apprehended

Posted in Football, Free Expression at 2:10 pm by

Activist, prankster or just a fella who can’t resist a well-maintained natural-grass field?  However you look at it, ltalian soccer gate-crasher Mario Ferri‘s cult of personality is unlikely to suffer serious damage after revelations in The Guadian his recent getaway scheme was foiled by some over-zealous social networking.

Ferri’s luck, and his cunning, ran out in Abu Dhabi over Christmas following his arrest for running onto the pitch at the Club World Cup final, dressed in his customary Superman T-shirt with the added slogan “Free Sakineh”, a reference to the Iranian woman who risks being put to death by stoning.

His passport in the hands of local police as he awaited trial, Ferri decided to smuggle himself out of the Emirates in the hold of a passing cruise ship, only to be promptly arrested after he made the mistake of announcing his secret plan on Facebook, telling fans: “I hope they don’t catch me, otherwise I will be in a heap of trouble.”

Ferri’s problems will only mount if he can make it home, where he is officially under house arrest after a series of pitch invasions, starting with Sampdoria’s home game to Napoli in May, where he disguised himself as a steward before leaping over the hoardings wearing the statement “Cassano in Nazionale”, a call to Italian national coach Marcello Lippi to pick eccentric talent Antonio Cassano.

Ferri was escorted off the pitch by Cassano himself, who told officials: “He’s a good boy, I’ll vouch for him.”

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