He was (not re­ally) dy­ing to see game

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - MARISSA PAYNE

Of­fi­cials in the small Ital­ian city of Cro­tone fig­ured things were go­ing to get wild on Wed­nes­day when Ju­ven­tus, one of the coun­try’s best and most pop­u­lar soc­cer teams, came to town to face its squad. So they made a plan.

Along with bump­ing up se­cu­rity around the coastal city’s sold­out, 16,000-seat sta­dium, of­fi­cials also put ex­tra guards around its hos­pi­tal, ac­cord­ing to re­ports, which hap­pens to be sit­u­ated across from the sta­dium and of­fers some of the best views of the ac­tion from its higher floors.

Ospedale San Gio­vanni di Dio of­fi­cials wanted to avoid a sit­u­a­tion that oc­curred a decade ago, when the two teams met in a lower-league match that saw sev­eral fans dis­guise them­selves as vis­i­tors of pa­tients just to stake out a spot at one of the up­per­floor win­dows, Ital­ian sports web­site Cal­cioNews24 re­ports. And so for the day, the hos­pi­tal in­sti­tuted a “pa­tient-only” ad­mit­tance pol­icy. While that de­terred most peo­ple from try­ing to sneak in, one man ap­par­ently had a plan — he’d just fake an emer­gency ill­ness to gain ac­cess.

Ac­cord­ing to Italy’s Reg­gio In­forma, the man’s scheme failed, how­ever. Hos­pi­tal of­fi­cials quickly sniffed out that the die-hard Ju­ven­tus fan wasn’t ac­tu­ally dy­ing at all and sent him on his way.

It re­mains un­clear whether the man got to see much of the game, while he tried to pull a fast one on hos­pi­tal staff. No sur­prise, Ju­ven­tus ended up win­ning, 2-0, over Cro­tone, which is com­pet­ing for the first time in Italy’s top-flight league af­ter be­ing pro­moted last sea­son. The team is in dan­ger of be­ing rel­e­gated back to Serie B, how­ever, as it sits in 19th place out of 20 teams, 44 points be­hind lead­ers Ju­ven­tus.

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