Leftists in Italy are attempting to pressure the Italian government into prohibiting the country's Davis Cup Tennis team from playing the Chilean team in Santiago in a Davis Cup play off on 17 December.
SV pan demonstrators carrying tennis racquets with CHILE on them in march
SV demonstrators with banners chanting as they march.
CU zoom out from poster daubed with racquet dripping blood to poster and demonstrators marching past.
SV pan demonstrators carrying Chilean flag.
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Background: Leftists in Italy are attempting to pressure the Italian government into prohibiting the country's Davis Cup Tennis team from playing the Chilean team in Santiago in a Davis Cup play off on 17 December.
SYNOPSIS: To draw attention to their demands the activists held a mass march through the streets of Rome on Saturday (27 November). Many of the demonstrators carried tennis racquets with CHILE on them. Others carried posters and banners condemning the Chilean government.
The leftists claim that Italy's participation in the playoff n Santiago could appear to lend support and credibility to the so-called fascist regime of President Pinochet. But if Italy withdraws from the contest Chile will win the match by default. On the other hand the leftists claim that if the team does play it will be censored by other democratic countries. But the Italian tennis players involved do not agree with this theory; and are only too happy to participate. In fact, some say that if they are not allowed to play in Santiago they will never play for Italy again. Italy is a strong favourite to win the Davis Cup and the Chileans refuse to play anywhere other than Santiago.
The issue is becoming extremely political and observers say that if the government refuses to let their team play it could be construed as bowing to Communist demands.