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Steve Gilliard, 1964-2007

It is with tremendous sadness that we must convey the news that Steve Gilliard, editor and publisher of The News Blog, passed away June 2, 2007. He was 42.

To those who have come to trust The News Blog and its insightful, brash and unapologetic editorial tone, we have Steve to thank from the bottom of our hearts. Steve helped lead many discussions that mattered to all of us, and he tackled subjects and interest categories where others feared to tread.

Please keep Steve's friends and family in your thoughts and prayers.

Steve meant so much to us.

We will miss him terribly.

photo by lindsay beyerstein


Football riot

Palermo's players try to get away from the tear gas

Italian league halted by violence

The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) has called off all this weekend's Serie A and Serie B games after a policeman was killed at a match on Friday.

A 38-year-old officer died as violence flared during and after the Serie A game between Sicilian rivals Catania and Palermo, which Palermo won 2-1.

The game was being played on Friday because of fears over public safety.

FIGC has cancelled Italy's game with Romania on Wednesday and an Under-21 match against Bulgaria on Tuesday too.

The derby game was suspended after an hour when tear gas, used by police to break up the fighting outside the ground, drifted onto the field.

There was fighting outside the ground, reported ANSA news agency, because Palermo fans could not get into Catania's Stadio Massimino until the second half.

The two teams fled the pitch for the dressing-room, with the game suspended for 30 minutes.

Prior to kick-off, a minute's silence had been held following the death of a club official from lower league club Sammartinese at a game last weekend.

Atfer the match, fans continued to fight running battles with police on the streets outside the stadium and around 100 people were being treated for injuries.

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