Officials at the Vesuvius National Park Authority are closing down access to the crater of the Mount Vesuvius volcano due to the possibility of fans of soccer team Napoli celebrating there.
Napoli is currently leading the table for Serie A, the top level of Italian football.
On Sunday, if the results of two games go their way, the team will clinch the Serie A title for the first time since 1989-1990, when the late Argentine talisman Diego Maradona headlined the club.
Park officials were alarmed by plans of fans to set off smoke bombs and fireworks, and to congregate near the fragile volcanic crater.
Mount Vesuvius, Europe’s only active volcano, is most famous for the famous eruption that covered the towns of Pompeii and Herculaneum in ash.
“We are all happy for Napoli’s victory, which honors the territory and will bring great joy among the citizens, but the celebrations must be limited to what is allowed by the rules of civilized life,” Extraordinary Commissioner of the Vesuvius National Park Authority Raffaele De Luca said in a statement, as translated by Google.
Serie A has also responded to the possibility of raucous celebrations. Originally, Napoli was to play a home match against fellow Campanian club and rival Salernitana on Saturday, but the game was moved to Sunday for safety reasons.
Napoli’s clincher relies on two results.
First, Inter Milan, currently sixth in the standings, need to either tie or defeat second place Lazio at home — that match starts 12:30 p.m. Italy time. Then, Napoli needs to outright beat Salernitana at home, in a match that starts at 3 p.m. local time.
Although Serie A has seven games remaining, Napoli has a significant lead in the standings at 78 points, with Lazio coming in at only 61 points as of Saturday. If Napoli clinches the top of the standings, it will be their third-ever title, or scudetto.
Although the term is now synonymous with the Serie A title, in literal terms it refers to the tricolor red-white-green Italian flag badge that is sewn onto the kits of the defending league champs each season.
Park authorities alluded to this, warning of “tricolor smoke bombs.” Napoli’s own colors are sky blue and white.
The winner of Italy’s top flight of soccer also earns automatic entry into the multinational, interleague Champions League club competition, run by the Union of European Football Associations.
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