We are greatly saddened to report that Ciro Esposito has died. The Napoli fan was shot prior to the Coppa Italia final on May 3rd, and had been in intensive care for the past 50 days. His condition deteriorated rapidly after a lung operation on June 19, and he passed away early on Wednesday, June 25.
The mayor of Naples posted this tweet, proclaiming the city to be in a day of mourning:
Ciro e' morto e a Napoli proclamiamo il lutto cittadino.Per Ciro,per i familiari,per il nostro popolo.Per dire no al binomio calcio-violenza— Luigi de Magistris (@demagistris) June 25, 2014
Esposito was just 29 years old.
The man suspected of shooting Esposito, 48-year-old Roma ultra Daniele De Santis, is being held on charges of attempted murder. He is also accused of shooting two other Napoli fans prior to the match.
What can be said of this, the most senseless of deaths? There can only be an appeal to those that instigate it, the ultras that wrongly believe that violence goes hand-in-hand with fandom.
Stop. Please stop. Before more lives are snuffed out. Before other mothers, fathers, children, uncles, aunts, friends, fanbases, entire cities, cry once more over the death of one of their own. Before this game that we all love becomes a mere backstory to the senseless violence that occurs amongst the supposed 'faithful'.