HEYSEL. The Truth
HEYSEL. The Truth
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On 29 May 1985 at the Heysel stadium in Brussels, before the European Cup final between Juventus and Liverpool, 39 people died.
They died in block Z, crushed and suffocated by the crowd, under the blows of English hooligans dulled by alcohol; and due to the distinct complicity of the Belgian authorities, the local police and UEFA were unable to predict what would occur, and to intervene.
It was a predictable tragedy that struck the sport of football and our consciences with desperate drama. It is an open wound that has never healed, because no one can or should die during a simple football match.
What happened before Juventus–Liverpool has been recounted by everyone; many have told about what happened during and after the event, including their own stories, but no one has ever really delved into the real, uncomfortable truths. The personal effects stolen, the arrogance of the authorities, the long, hard, disdained legal battle carried out by the Association of Victims, by Otello Lorentini who in Belgium lost his son Roberto (awarded a silver medal for Civil Valour for having died trying to save a fellow human being). The humanity of 39 families has been trampled for no justifiable reason.
This book is a gesture owed to the memory and dignity of 39 people who lost their lives to watch a game. To remember what the football environment has tried too often and too quickly to forget.
«This book – said Walter Veltroni, former Deputy Prime Minister of Italy – is precious and beautiful. Not just because it warns us not to forget, and because it faithfully and reliably narrates everything that happened; but also because it is a book of inquiry that contains the passion of the diary, of the biographical page. Caremani declared that this is the book he would never have wanted to write, but what happened transformed the pages in “his book”. Inside and behind the mass of forgetfulness, of superficiality, of the sloppiness of failures and faults, the author investigates the passion of those subjected to the most inconvenient testimony: that of memory. He collected evidence, listened and reported, perhaps to attenuate his pain, and truly, that dark knot, that lump in his throat that Caremani carried within him, turned into courage and tenacity. The rabid desire to know became a strong civil protest; it became a piece of history to read and maintain, it became the lucid and critical evidence of a massacre that was avoidable. I love this book: it is a great act of love for 39 innocent people, and a warning not to lose the way of humanity and compassion».
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