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Italy fail to catch Six Nations fever
Rome
February 4, 2000

Italy's introduction into the expanded Six Nations championship has failed to spark the imagination of the soccer loving Azzurri.

Indications are that the crowd for tomorrow's clash with Scotland, the first game Italy have played in the official European championship, will fall well short of the 28,000 capacity at the Stadio Flaminio.

So far, only 20,000 tickets have been sold for the clash and of those, an estimated 8,000 have gone to a sizeable cottish travelling support.

Tickets will be available until shortly efore kick-off tomorrow but the chances of a sell-out are slight.

In contrast, nearly triple the number f fans are likely to attend Roma's Serie A encounter with Venezia at the nearby tadio Olimpico.

Except for a few posters dotted around dvertising hordings near to the stadium in the north-west of the city, there as been little promotion of the event, bringing back memories of the dismal arketing which accompanied last year's World Cup.

"Rugby is not really seen as a national sport in Italy," said one Rome
resident today.

"There is interest in certain parts of the country but mainly it is soccer,
soccer and more soccer.

"I can't see that situation ever changing, although if the rugby team start to do well, the interest will rise."

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