Italy delays introduction of fan cards

ROME - Italian Interior Minister Roberto Maroni has agreed to postpone the introduction of electronic supporter ID cards from January 1 to the start of next season.

"(I accept the delay) very happily. In the summer, I had three clubs in favour and the organised supporter groups against," Maroni told Saturday's La Gazzetta dello Sport.

"Now I have all the clubs in favour and a few fringe fan groups against."

The government, prompted by years of football violence, wants to make it compulsory for fans to carry the card to away matches so authorities can better track troublemakers.

Fans groups have staged protests, saying the cards would restrict their civil liberties.